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Won’t oppose Food Bill: Rajnath

Nagpur, July 6
BJP president Rajnath Singh today termed the ordinance promulgated by the Union Cabinet to implement the Food Security Bill a "cruel joke" on democracy and said his party would not oppose the passage of the Bill in Parliament but seek amendments to it.

“We will not oppose it (the Bill) in the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament but want certain amendments,” Rajnath said after meeting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the sangh headquarters here.

But he did not elaborate on the amendments his party wanted.

Questioning the delay in bringing the Bill, Rajnath said: “Why the Congress-led UPA government took so long in passing the Bill and that too through the ordinance route even though it had promised to bring the Bill within 100 days of coming to power after the 2004 elections.”

“What was the hurry in bringing the ordinance on the Bill when the monsoon session of Parliament is round the corner... Taking the ordinance route is nothing but a cruel joke on democracy,” Rajnath said.

“The Congress should be held responsible for disruptions in parliamentary proceedings,” he said in reply to a query. — PTI



PIL filed in SC against ordinance
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 6
An advocate today filed a PIL in the Supreme Court pleading for quashing the controversial food security ordinance as it was intended to reap political gains for the ruling dispensation at the Centre in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections and not to benefit the people.

Under the ordinance, approved by President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday, two-thirds of the population in the country would get the right to demand 5 kg foodgrain every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg. The petitioner, ML Sharma, said Article 123 of the Constitution, under which the ordinance was promulgated, was meant for meeting emergency situations when Parliament was not in session. The ordinance was a clear case of misuse of the Constitutional provision as there was no emergency, he contended.

If the Centre was really concerned about poor people, it would have released additional foodgrain for distribution under the PDS, Antyodhya Anna Yojana and other such programmes as directed by the Supreme Court, the petitioner argued. He sought direction to the Centre to comply with the SC order by releasing foodgrains for distribution at the rates prescribed in the ordinance.





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