Food security bill only with eye on polls: Venkaiah Naidu
Terming the National Food Security Bill a "lollipop", BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu Monday said the UPA government had brought the legislation with an eye on the 2014 general elections and without providing any incentive to farmers to grow more food.
Naidu, speaking in the Rajya Sabha on the bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha last week, said the very fact that 67 years after independence the need had been felt to provide food security to more than 67 crore people was an indication of the "neglect" of people by the Congress party which has ruled the country for 57 years.
"On the one hand, the Planning Commission is saying that poverty levels are coming down, and on the other you are bring in the food bill.. The Planning Commission speaks in one language and the government in another.. The government wants to take credit for the bringing in the bill, it should also take the blame for not being able to provide food security to the people for so many years," said Naidu.
The Food Security Bill, that seeks to provide 80 percent of the population with subsidised foodgrains, is a pet project of UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Naidu attacked the UPA government for having ignored the farmers. "Food security can be provided if the farmers are happy... but you are not taking any steps to encourage farmers to produce more.. Agriculture is in dire straits, its share in GDP has declined," he said.
He said with the economy in "shambles" how would the government find the money to provide for the food security bill. "The fundamentals of growth have declined... The food bill is like giving lollipops," he said.
(Posted on 02-09-2013)