New Delhi: Suggesting that the government has brought the Food Security Bill with an eye on elections, BJP on Monday raised questions over the landmark measure saying it has several flaws which needed to be rectified.
"This is a vote security bill not Food Security bill...," BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said during debate on the legislation in the Lok Sabha.
Joshi said he was in favour of the bill but the measure brought by the government has flaws. "The flaws should be rectified," he said.
The former Union Minister raised concern over various aspects, including providing adequate food, to people.
"In 2009, the then President of India in his Address had talked about Food Security Bill. But you have brought this bill when you are going out...," Joshi said.
Wondering what is meant by "adequate food", Joshi asked how the government is going to ensure food security to people.
"What is adequate food? Is it going to be based on purchasing power, calorific value or nutrition?... You mention eligible households, why this `tamasha` (drama). What if it is only single person. You (the government) should clarify whether one person will be classified as household," he said.
Besides, he questioned where the funds would come from for implementation of the bill.
Emphasising that the bill should have the objective of providing universal food security, Joshi said so much noise should not be made that the country is providing food security for everyone.
"There is an attempt to mislead people...You are playing with the emotions of people. First determine what your priorities are and also consider the condition of our country," he said.
About 60 per cent of the population is dependent on agriculture but small farmers are committing suicide. In the last 15 years, more than three lakh farmers have committed suicide, he claimed.