BJP versus Food Security Bill
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he BJP has the reputation of doing the wrong things at the wrong time. The latest is the saffron party’s blockading the passing of the Food Security Bill in Parliament on Tuesday. Sure, all political parties must needs try and criticize the ruling Government. The role of an Opposition is to oppose whenever they can—and even perhaps for whatever reason they can. However, there are limits and unspoken boundaries which they should not cross. That the Opposition has every right to insist on the details regarding Coalgate scams coverning cola block allocations and of course, the lost files etc. They have every right to question the ruling Government’s policies on whatever issue(s). The duty of any opposition is always to oppose. However, there are certain times when everyone cutting across political divides must needs to come together when the interest and security of the nation is concerned. Such include times of natural disasters/calamities which range from flash floods, earthquakes, internal strife accentuated by militant forces, or even war with another neighbouring nation.
While launching the ambitious food scheme for Delhi Union Territory, Sonia Gandhi maintained that “The guarantee of food provided by food security scheme on such a large scale is unparalleled in the world.” She also said that “we have people who still don’t get food and there are children who are malnourished. We decided to bring this scheme so that every poor gets food and no child sleeps without food.”
Although the BJP did not say that it was opposed to the bill, party spokesman still insisted that it would not give the demand for the Prime Minister’s statement on the missing files related to the coal block allocations. The missing files pertain to the decisions taken at various levels in the coal ministry and the Government screening committees.
However, the Food Security Bill intended to provide cheap staple food to two-thirds of the nation’s population, could not be debated and passed in the Lok Sabha as the BJP disrupted the proceedings. Therefore, the BJP’s strategy to try and nullify the good intentions of the proposed Bill, is comparable to upsetting the Congress agenda. It has even alleged that the Food Bill was an election ploy to garner votes. But to get food who will go against the move?
It may be recalled that some years ago, the BJP Government fell after a short in power because onion prices had gone up to Rs 60 per kg. So far it is up to Rs 50 per kg in Dimapur but Rs. 70-80 in Delhi now The benefits that would accrue to the people if the food bill were to be passed would be as blot on the BJP’s electoral strategy but here it has to tread warily. Any subject under the sun is acceptable but where food factor is concerned, anyone has to be cautious, or even wary.
That the bill was to be launched on the birth anniversary of the late Prime Minster Rajiv Gandhi is besides the point although it may be symbolic for the Congress. What is more relevant is to be reminded that foreign-born women of India have contributed much the nation’s welfare. British Annie Besant was a prominent Socialist, Theosophist, women’s rights activist, writer, orator and supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule. Nobel Peace laureate Albanian born Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity based at Calcutta. She and her helpers built homes for orphans, nursing homes for lepers and hospices for the terminally ill.
Italian born Sonia Gandhi instituted the MGNREGA which has no doubt helped the rural people despite allegations of misuse of funds. Now her pet scheme food security bill is aimed at alleviation of the poor. She wants the women of the country to benefit from the various schemes available. She asserts that the eradication of poverty band development can be the only be the true tribute to Rajiv Gandhi. Is the BJP listening?