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Out to claim credit, Cong leaders want food plan named after Rajiv
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 27
Worried over the possibility of the food security programme being hijacked by ruling regimes in non-Congress states, party leaders want the scheme to be named after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The demand came from Bhupinder Singh, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader from Chhattisgarh — a BJP ruled state—at a meeting of state Congress chiefs with party vice president Rahul Gandhi. The meeting was held at AICC headquarters to discuss the National Food Security Ordinance 2013 and was attended by Food Minister KV Thomas and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.

The leaders were unanimous in raising the demand for naming the programme after Rajiv Gandhi. Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said, "the party had taken note of it". Rahul had left the meeting when the suggestion was floated. It stemmed from a common concern that the scheme would not yield political gains to the party in non-Congress states where even the current public distribution system was not functioning properly and it was important to ensure that the credit of the scheme went to the party.

Punjab CLP leader Sunil Jakhar said there was no use of implementing the ordinance unless distribution gaps in the PDS were plugged. He sought a clarification on whether the government would reduce the MSP to meet its additional subsidy burden of Rs 23, 800 crore on account of delivery of subsidised foodgrains under the law to 67% beneficiaries.

Rahul, Thomas and Jairam clarified that the MSP would continue to be given on the basis of costs incurred by farmers.

Plug PDS gaps: Punjab Congmen

  • Punjab CLP leader Sunil Jakhar told Rahul Gandhi that there was no use of implementing the ordinance unless distribution gaps in the PDS were plugged
  • PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa suggested that there should be a mechanism for representatives of the Congress to be part of the monitoring system.





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