Delhi BJP protests against UPA's Food Security Programme

New Delhi, Aug 20 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party's Delhi Unit staged a protest here on Tuesday against the Food Security Programme launched by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the rising prices of onions and other vegetables.

Delhi BJP President Vijay Goel lashed out at the ruling government for a delayed decision on such an important issue.

"The BJP is of the view that this Food Security Bill for the poor should have been passed five years back if not ten years. If the Bill is to be passed as an Ordinance only then why could it not have been done earlier," he said.

Several party workers raised slogans against the Food Security Programme outside the Talkatora Stadium in Central Delhi where the UPA's 'ambitious' scheme was launched on late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's 69th birth anniversary.

The police later used water canons to disperse the protestors, who grew restless during the demonstration.

Earlier in the day, Congress President Sonia Gandhi along with Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit flagged of the Food Security scheme at a function at the Talkotara Stadium here.

Launching this scheme in Delhi, Gandhi said the Central Government will ensure that the right people get the benefits and that there are no flaws in the distribution process.

Gandhi said the nation still has people who don't get food to eat, and added that children suffer from malnutrition.

"We have to be responsible for lives of the poor and that is why the Food Security Bill was introduced. So, now we have legally ensured food for the poor of the country," she added.

The UPA chairperson further said that this scheme was the dream of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi that is taking shape today.

Chief Minister Dikshit on her part said that the identified beneficiaries will get highly subsidised foodgrains from the 1st of next month. Initially, 32 lakh people of vulnerable sections will be covered and later it will be extended to around 73 lakh people.

Haryana and Uttarakhand have also rolled out the Food Security programme on the occasion of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's 69th birth Anniversary.

The National Food Security Bill is a historic initiative for ensuring food and nutritional security to the people. It gives a right to the people to receive adequate quantity of foodgrains at affordable prices.

The Bill has a special focus on nutritional support to the poorest of the poor , women and children. In case of non-supply of foodgrains, the deprived will get a food security allowance.

The Bill also provides for grievance redressal mechanism and penalty for non -compliance by a public servant or authority.

Under the plan, the government will sell subsidised wheat and rice to 67 percent of its 1.2 billion population. (ANI)