New Delhi: With the Lok Sabha elections not far away, Congress is expected to pull out all the stops in propagating the food security scheme that will provide right to cheap food grains to 82 crore people.
An indication to this was available today with Food Minister K V Thomas giving a detailed briefing over the ambitious measure to AICC General Secretary Ajay Maken and party spokespersons. Maken is the chief of the AICC communication department.
Party leaders have already hailed the food security measure as a game changer in the Lok Sabha battle.
Congress-ruled Delhi where Assembly polls are due by year-end is all set to become the first state in the country to roll out the food security scheme.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said that the programme will be launched on August 20, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Reports had it that several states including Congress-ruled Karnataka, BJP-led Chhattigarh and SP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and JD(U)-run Bihar could see early roll out of the programme.
Billed as the world`s largest social welfare programme, the Government had last week decided to issue ordinance to give nation`s two-third population the right to get 5 kgs of foodgrains every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg.
The Bill has been the pet project of the Congress President Sonia Gandhi who is also UPA Chairperson.
Thomas had said the food security programme, when implemented, will be the biggest in the world with the government spending an estimated Rs 125,000 crore annually on supply of about 62 million tonnes of rice, wheat and coarse cereals to 67 per cent of the population.
The validity of an ordinance expires six weeks from the commencement of Parliament session.