Congress slams opposition for not discussing food bill

New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) Slamming the opposition for not debating and letting the Food Security bill pass by repeatedly stalling parliament, the Congress said Tuesday that the opposition was making the poor suffer for its political gains.

“It’s extremely sad and most unfortunate that the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) believes that hunger should be removed, food security should be ensured and it seems that certain sections of the opposition believe that it is not hunger but it is the hungry who should be removed,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters outside parliament house.

“A bill which will provide food security to 67 percent of the people of this country is today being sacrificed on the altar of political opportunism… the major opposition is willing to make the poor and hungry suffer for its political gains,” he added, pointing towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla agreed, saying that the opposition should let the house function for at least a day so that the bill can be discussed.

“They have made a mockery of the house. Every day they create a ruckus and won’t allow the house to function. At least they should keep calm and discuss the bill for one day,” Shukla said.

A war of words broke out between the Congress and the opposition over the National Food Security Bill, which the government tried to debate in the Lok Sabha and get passed Monday.

The opposition continued to disrupt the house over the allocation of coal blocks as Food Minister K.V. Thomas moved the bill, saying it was a key UPA legislation that would give the right to subsidised grain to around 67 percent of the population.

The BJP, meanwhile, has made it clear that it would not let parliament function till Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Railway Minister P.K. Bansal and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar step down.

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