Millennium Post

SP changes stance on Food Bill after Mulayam meets PM

SP changes stance on Food Bill after Mulayam meets PM
Ice seems to have been broken between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP), which has been vehemently opposing the issue of ordinance bringing the Food Security Bill through the backdoor.

SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and raised his concerns on the issue, with the latter, sources said, assuring to iron out differences. ‘When we meet the Prime Minister, it is obvious that there would be some discussion. And there should be discussion on Food security in parliament,’ said Yadav.

Yadav, unlike the past when Samajwadi Party had termed the Food Security Bill as anti-farmer and said they would oppose the bill, took a less stringent stand on Thursday. Sources said that the government was ready to accommodate amendments and the SP agreed not to act as obstacle if the amendments proposed by the party were incorporated. Though the SP chief said that he would not disclose what transpired in the meeting between him and the prime minister, SP leader Naresh Agarwal said that the bill would be acceptable to the party with amendments.

The SP chief also dismissed allegations that his party was withdrawing support from the government on the issue. ‘In the past too, we have opposed several initiatives of the government, but that did not mean than we would bring down the government,’ he said.

Agarwal said one of the major demands of the Samajwadi Party is that all crops should be bought by the government at the minimum support price, so that farmers do not have to incur losses. The other amendments that the party wishes to propose are giving loan to the farmer at zero percent interest. ‘We want to safeguard the interests of the farmers,’ said Agarwal.

The SP leader added the party would want that seeds provided to farmers are at a cheaper cost and the committee which decides the minimum support price of crops should have five farmers as members of the committee.
Samarth Saran

Samarth Saran

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