Cong whip to its Lok Sabha members on Food Security Bill

Congress has issued a whip to its members in Lok Sabha to be present in the House on Wednesday.

Updated: May 08, 2013, 00:43 AM IST

New Delhi: Amid the government`s plan to take up and possibly pass the ambitious Food Security Bill in Parliament, Congress has issued a whip to its members in Lok Sabha to be present in the House tomorrow and vote in favour of the legislation.

Party sources said tonight that the three-line whip has been issued to enable smooth passage of the legislation if the government decides to go ahead with the measure that UPA is set to showcase as a major achievement of its rule.

The Opposition has been demanding that the government sack Union Ministers Pawan Kumar Bansal and Ashwani Kumar to create conditions to pass the Bill.

Earlier in the day, Congress initiated fresh moves to break the deadlock with the opposition in order to get the Food Security Bill passed in the budget session of Parliament which ends on May 10.

Efforts for a rapproachment were initiated by Congress President Sonia Gandhi this morning when she reached out to Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, apparently to win over BJP`s support for passage of crucial Bills.

The Congress Core Group held a meeting where Gandhi and the Prime Minister took stock of the situation as regards the Bill at a time when only three days are left for the session to conclude. The meeting was held amidst speculation that both the Houses may be adjourned sine die before Friday.

Leader of the Lok Sabha Sushilkumar Shinde told BJP leader Ananth Kumar that since the Food Security Bill is an important measure concerning the poor, all political parties should participate in the discussion on it and the issue of its passage should be decided thereafter.

The Left parties have already pledged support to the Bill, with some amendments, pushing BJP in a spot. The main Opposition, which agrees with the Food Security Bill in principle, does not want to be seen disrupting the House when it comes up for discussion and passage.