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Rediff.com  » News » Opposition steps up attack on govt over food bill

Opposition steps up attack on govt over food bill

July 04, 2013 19:43 IST

The government rejected the charge saying it wants to provide food security to crores of people and alleged that opposition leaders, who had earlier disrupted Parliament sessions were now shedding "crocodile tears" over parliamentary propriety.

Questioning the hurry in issuing an ordinance when the next session was approaching, Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh said his party too wanted the bill to pass but only after a debate and carrying out certain amendments.

"The monsoon session is probably beginning from the third week of July, what was the need for doing it in such a hurry," he asked.

"There are several flaws in this bill on which we want debate in the Parliament and wanted to pass this bill with certain amendments. We don't want to oppose but there should be debate in Parliament," Singh said.

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Brinda Karat too was critical of the government's decision saying passing an ordinance ahead of a Parliament session was a contempt of Parliament and injustice to the people.

"For four years, this government did not think that it was a priority to bring a food security legislation and at a time when India has the highest number of malnourished people in the world," Karat said.

"And now on the eve of a Parliament session, to push through an ordinance, a bill which has serious flaws, is contempt of Parliament and also injustice to people," she added.

The CPI too was equally critical of the government and said that the bill needed to be drastically amended.

"I do not think the Congress party or the Congress-led government can hoodwink people, can deceive people showing this ordinance. On this we want a thorough, comprehensive debate in Parliament and the Food Security Bill needs to be drastically amended," senior CPI leader D Raja said.

Former National Democratic Alliance ally, the Janata Dal-United also was vocal in opposing the decision to bring an ordinance. The party's national president Sharad Yadav called the step a hasty move and accused the government of being gripped by the spectre of elections.

"This is a hurried move. The spectre of elections has taken hold of them so they have done this without taking the Parliament into confidence," he said.

Yadav said he and other leaders were reading the bill and would speak about its positives and negatives when it comes to Parliament.

Amid the opposition from various parties, Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari countered the charges saying that the government's intention was to provide "food security to 81 crore Indians."

He accused the Opposition of shedding "crocodile tears" over parliamentary propriety.

"It is indeed amusing that the ones who are shedding crocodile tears on propriety are also the ones who have acquired a Phd in 'disruptionites'," he said, referring to disruption of Parliament in the recent past.

In an apparent reference to the BJP, Tewari said the opposition had shown scant respect for parliamentary traditions and added that two of its sessions had been washed out because of its stance.

"Substantive questions or substantive criticism with regard to the Food Security Ordinance has to be answered once the President has promulgated it. But I am quite amused as to who are the people who are talking about parliamentary propriety, who are getting worried about parliamentary sessions and the fact that a parliamentary session was on the cusp," he told reporters here.

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