Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Saturday supported the Food Security Bill, providing some relief to the UPA government which is likely to table the bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament amid stiff opposition.
“I support the legislation in principle. People should get food at a cheap price,” she said.
However, Mayawati objected to the Centre’s decision to implement the scheme through an ordinance. “The ordinance has been brought in a hurry. It should have been discussed in Parliament and there would have been a consensus over it.”
Her archrival Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav whose support is crucial for UPA’s survival has already demanded an all party meeting for discussion on the food bill, leaving the Congress jittery. Yadav has stated that he was against the existing food bill.
Talking to the media, the BSP supremo said around two years back the Supreme Court observed that large quantity of grain was rotting in godowns while people were dying due to hunger. The court had directed the central government to devise a system under which people could get food at a cheap rate.
The UPA government remained silent on the issue for two years and as the Lok Sabha election was drawing close, it has launched an exercise to provide food to all, she said, but added, “Better late than never.”
Mayawati also slammed the remarks by two Congress leaders that one could have meals for R5 and R12. “It’s nothing but a cruel joke on the poor and we condemn it,” the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said and added that Congress leaders live in a world of fantasy and have no experience of poverty.
There has been a sharp increase in the prices of essential commodities and the price of food has also skyrocketed, she said.
She also denounced Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission’s controversial reservation policy that introduced quota at the preliminary stages.
“BSP supports the anti-reservation movement and we would appeal to the court to direct the state government to withdraw the cases registered against the students. BSP government has followed sarvajan (all comunity) policy when in power,” she said. The policy has since been rolled back.
She also reiterated her demand for imposition of president’s rule in Uttar Pradesh.
“Law and order has deteriorated in UP and the development works have come to a standstill. To divert the attention of the people from contentious issues, the state government was indulging in gimmicks like distribution of laptops and unemployment allowances. I would appeal to the governor to recommend for imposition of president rule in the state,” she said.