Mulayam meets Manmohan over food bill

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose party lends crucial support to the ruling UPA, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday reportedly to register his reservations on the food security ordinance, informed sources said.

"It was a regular meeting. I don't have to discuss what I spoke about with the media," Mulayam Singh said after the meeting.

The SP chief had opposed the food ordinance, approved by the government last week, saying it was anti-farmer and brought keeping in mind the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

His reservations could affect the government's hopes to secure passage of the relevant bill in the coming monsoon session of parliament.

The Congress downplayed the development.

"It is one step forward, at least they want to discuss the food bill. Why do you think everything that Mulayamji says is a threat," Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury asked while speaking to reporters.

After the exit of the Trinamool Congress and the DMK in the past one year, the Congress-led UPA government has been surviving with outside support from the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.

Both parties have bailed out the Congress in the past on crucial issues.

To keep Mulayam Singh in good humour, the Congress recently warned union minister Beni Prasad Verma for making derogatory remarks against the SP chief.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is also seeking changes in the bill.

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