Chidambaram draws flak from BJP for food bill remarks
New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday drew flak from BJP for his remarks that the government will reach out to the Opposition "one more time" for support to the Food Security Bill with the party charging that the UPA dispensation wants to get is passed for electoral gains.
The Cabinet decision today to drop the ordinance route for passage of a legislation on food security was, however, in keeping with the BJP demand that the bill be passed only after a debate and voting in Parliament.
"The Finance Minister has said the government is considering a special session of Parliament to pass the Food Security Bill. If I got his words right I think he said government will approach the Opposition 'just one more time'. He has said this just as a school teacher asks her students to cooperate," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The main Opposition was of the view that a bill of such significance and impact should only be passed through due process in Parliament.
"Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had tweeted earlier that the monsoon session of Parliament be advanced for passage of the bill and opinions of all be taken on the Land Acquisition and Food Security bills," she said.
Sitharaman said BJP is happy that the government has given up the ordinance route.
"This government wanted to make the food bill a political tool and get it passed fast to get votes. There are so many black points in this government due to scams that they want this bill to be passed," she said.
The main Opposition said the bill has failed to get the Parliament's nod twice in the past due to shortcomings. It maintains that there are some lacunae in the present draft and these should be amended.
BJP president Rajnath Singh told reporters earlier in the day that passing the Food Security Bill through an ordinance would be an "undemocratic step". He said it should be brought for discussion and passage in the Monsoon Session.
BJP's view is that the Chhattisgarh Food Security Act is a model law which should be followed by other states as well as the Centre.