Saturday, August 3, 2013

FOOD SECURITY A Congress programme at public cost?

 A Congress programme at public cost?

In India the "government of the people, by the people and for the people" is run by a political party or an alliance which commands majority in the House of the People (Lok Sabha). The council of ministers headed by the prime minister, under the Constitution, is collectively responsible to the House. Same is the story in States. Although the destiny of the Government of India is steered by a political party or an alliance of parties commanding majority, yet the government is for all – as much for the ruling party as much for the opposition; as much for those who voted for it as much for those who didn't. The government in power cannot discriminate between its supporters and its opponents and, above all, on grounds of religion, caste, sex and region.
Although the Food Security Bill may have been conceived by the National Advisory Council or the Congress and adopted by the Government of India, yet the fact remains that once it has been promulgated by the President of India on the recommendation it becomes a public property; it is for all without discrimination as per its provisions.
According to government version the food security guaranteed under the Bill will cost the public exchequer `1.25 lakh crores per year.
Though the Bill has not as yet been passed by Parliament, yet the Government has announced that initially it will be launched on August 20 this year – the birth anniversary of former Congress leader who was also a prime minister for five years– in five Congress ruled States all of which are going to the polls shortly. 
All this gives electoral overtones to the whole exercise. It appears as if it is not a programme of the Government of India which will bear the cost of its implementation from public exchequer but a Congress Party programme run on party funds. Why are non-Congress ruled States being, initially, excluded from extending the benefit of the Bill remains unexplained. That turns it not a national programme but a Congress Party programme to further its electoral fortunes at public cost.

Should the President of India who is the guardian of the word and spirit of the Constitution not take note of this flagrant violation for narrow political and electoral cause?

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