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Amid Durga row, SP to vote against food security ordinance

No support to programme in its current form, says party general secretary Naresh Agarwal who has taken on Gandhi over her letter to PM seeking to ensure suspended IAS officer is not "unfairly treated"

delhi Updated: Aug 04, 2013 21:25 IST

Barely two days after Congress president Sonia Gandhi said suspended Uttar Pradesh IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal should not be “unfairly treated”, the Samajwadi Party announced it would not support the Centre’s food security ordinance in Parliament.

The Congress-led UPA’s ambitious food security programme is the cornerstone of Gandhi’s welfare agenda.

“We will vote against it,” SP general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Naresh Agarwal said on Sunday, ruling out any support to the ordinance “in its current form”.

Agarwal has taken on Gandhi following her letter to the PM on Friday over Nagpal’s suspension.

Another SP leader said the party’s opposition to the present structure of the food ordinance was its stated position and not related to the war of words with the Congress over Nagpal.

The SP’s stand assumes significance for the central government, which has accorded top priority to securing approval for the food security ordinance in the monsoon session of Parliament beginning Monday.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s party has often come to the government’s rescue in passing key bills during the past year, even when some the UPA’s own allies have refused to bail it out. The SP, with 22 Lok Sabha MPs, extends outside support to the UPA government.

Asked what amendments the party wanted in the food ordinance, Agarwal said the SP chief would elaborate.

First Published: Aug 04, 2013 21:19 IST