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Congress to take special session route on food bill?

A strong pitch for a special session of Parliament for the passage of the ambitious Food Security Bill is being made by the Congress.

New Delhi: A strong pitch for a special session of Parliament for the passage of the ambitious Food Security Bill is being made by the Congress, which finds the ordinance as well as Monsoon session route less favourable.

A senior party leader, who declined to be identified, said today that the special session route over the bill will be "politically desirable and technically feasible" for the ruling party.

The food bill is the brainchild of party-chief Sonia Gandhi, who is also the UPA chairperson.

Refrain of the leader was that the special session would send the right signal to the people about the keenness of the Congress to pass the measure being seen as a game changer in the next Lok Sabha polls.

He said that the Opposition, which has been disrupting Parliament, will be exposed if it adopts similar tactics in a special session called to pass the bill.

If the bill is brought in Monsoon session, Opposition would again rake up various issues and stall it, he said. Ordinance route is also less feasible as the government would have to bring it before Parliament for passage within six months.

With a special session requiring a 15-day notice, such a session could still be a possibility by July 15 or 20, the leader said.

At the same time, he made it clear that a decision on a special session depended upon the attitude of the Opposition as such a session cannot be convened without taking the Opposition on board.

His reply was ambivalent when asked whether the land acquisition bill will also be taken up if a special session is called.

Sometime back, Gandhi had appealed to the NDA and other Opposition parties to come together and collectively help the government pass the two bills. "These are not partisan issues. It is not a question of government versus the Opposition. These bills affect the lives and livelihood of millions whom we are committed to represent and benefit," she had said.


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