New Delhi: The opposition`s failure to help passage of the Food Security Bill forced the government to go in for an ordinance to give the country`s two-third population the right to foodgrain at subsided rates, Congress said on Wednesday.
"If the opposition parties desired, they could have helped passage of the Bill in the last session of Parliament, but they did not feel the need for it and this led to the decision on ordinance," party general secretary Ajay Maken told reporters.
At the same time, he said the government is ready to have discussions in Parliament on the Bill and the Congress is for creating a consensus on the ambitious measure.
Maken insisted that the Bill could see the "light of the day" due to concerted efforts of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.
He said the government decision to come out with an ordinance was to provide the country`s two-third population the right to five kgs of foodgrain every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg.
After deferring its decision last month, the Cabinet today approved promulgation of an ordinance to implement the Food Security Bill.
With this, India will join select league of countries in the world that guarantee foodgrain to majority of its population. At Rs 1,25,000 crore of government support, the food security programme will be the largest in the world.