New Delhi: The government`s efforts to garner wider backing for the Food Security Bill on Tuesday got a boost with SP, BSP and JD(U), with a collective strength of 63 members in the Lok Sabha, expressing support to it.
While BSP and JD(U) expressed in-principle support to the government`s "game-changer" Bill, SP said it would back the legislation with some amendments.
"We will support the Bill when it is put to vote. But the party has decided to move amendments to make the scheme better and ensure the farmers get the right price for their crops," said an SP MP after a meeting of the party chaired by its Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Other amendments are on giving pulses along with rice to improve nutrition, he told PTI, adding the party als wants more grains to be given per family.
SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav later said he has moved amendments. "We will press for it. If the amendments are accepted then it is well, otherwise we will oppose it," he told reporters.
Food Minister KV Thomas and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath had met Yadav yesterday to solicit his support for the Bill.
Mayawati said BSP is in "complete support" of the Bill but her party wanted government to consider some amendments, including increasing the amount of food allotted to each household. "We support the Bill in principle," she said.
Extending support, JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said the Bill will benefit 86 percent of people in Bihar, where his party is in power, and 70 per cent in the country.
"It will benefit so many people. That is why we have decided to support it," he said, adding the government has accepted two of the three amendments moved by his party.
The Centre has agreed to share the financial burden of transporting food across the state and to bear the expenditure for expanding fair price shops.
The government has, however, not yet offered any assurance on the party`s demand that it should sponsor the setting up of cold storages in states, he said.
SP has 22 members, BSP 21 and JD(U) 20 members in the 543-member Lok Sabha where the Food Bill is expected to be considered on Thursday.