Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: While the main opposition party, the BJP, has decided to press for amendments in the Food Security Bill, the Samajwadi Party has categorically ruled out support to the Centre`s ambitious bill in its present form, reports said on Monday.
Talking to reporters, SP leader Naresh Agarwal made it clear that the bill in its present form was not acceptable and required certain amendments and that if need be the party will vote against it.
"If need be, we will vote against the bill," Agarwal said.
The SP leader maintained that several concerns had to be addressed before the passage of the bill.
The SP, which provides crucial outside support to the UPA, has 22 members in the Lok Sabha and its backing is vital for the passage of the bill, which is touted as a "game changer" by the UPA government.
Agarwal, however, ruled out that the party`s stand on the food bill had anything to do with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi`s letter on suspension of Nagpal by the Uttar Pradesh government.
He hit out at the UPA dispensation for pursuing wrong policies.
He said such letters are routine and are of no importance.
Gandhi in her letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked the Centre to ensure Nagpal is not "unfairly treated", Agarwal said there are many IAS and IPS officers who have been suspended or transferred in the past and this comes within the rights of the state government. "This cannot be made into a topic of debate," he added.
Agarwal said SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has made it clear that the party will not support the food bill in its present form.
He said the bill had many shortcomings and was against the interest of farmers.
Agarwal also questioned why Sonia Gandhi hadn`t written a letter in support of Ashok Khemka, the Haryana IAS officer who had scrapped her son-in-law Robert Vadra`s controversial land deals and was transferred.
Meanwhile, MoS V Narayansamy today expressed confidence that the Samajwadi Party will support the crucial bill in Parliament.
"I am hopeful that the SP leaders will support the Food Bill in Parliament, "he said, while adding that Duga Shakti Nagpal and Khemka`s cases were two different things.
With PTI inputs