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Government to accept all 'workable' amendments in Food Security Bill: Kamal Nath

Press Trust of India
Aug 19, 2013 at 08:33pm IST

New Delhi: Amid speculation that the Food Security Bill will be pushed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, the government on Monday said it would accept all "workable" amendments. Amid a large number of amendments from the opposition, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath merely said the government is willing to accept those amendments which are "workable".

"We are looking at this situation that if it is an amendment which is workable, the government will move that amendment. It will come in as an official amendment," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters outside Parliament House when asked about 200-odd amendments.

Emerging from a meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi of ministers related to the rollout and implementation of the food security law, Nath also said Speaker Meira Kumar will take a decision on Tuesday morning on what should be done about the protests by TDP MPs on Telangana issue. Opposition leaders have been insisting that no bill should be passed in the din and that it wanted to participate in the discussion on the Food Security Bill.

Govt to accept all 'workable' amendments in Food Bill: Kamal Nath

The Opposition has been insisting that it wants to participate in the discussion on the Food Security Bill.

The meeting convened by the Prime Minister was attended by Food Minister KV Thomas, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju and Finance Minister P Chidambaram. The meeting discussed the various amendments moved by the parties. "We discussed the various amendments moved by the parties as to which all can be accepted so that the bill can be passed easily," Nath said adding no politics should be involved in the measure.

Repeatedly asked whether the government will move official amendments, he said they will be "to the extent we accept it". Asked whether the bill will come up for discussion and passage in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Nath said much would depend on the Law Ministry which has to clear the official amendments.

The Food Security Bill as also the Land Acquisition Bill are being listed for consideration tomorrow. The two bills are seen as gamechangers by the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls ahead. At the AICC briefing also, party spokesperson Raj Babbar steered clear of questions on whether the party would strive for passage of the Food Security Bill in the lower House tomorrow in view of the late Prime Minister's anniversary.

"We cannot say anything. It will be decided tomorrow...continuous consultations are on," Babbar said when asked about possible suspension of TDP members and taking forward the Food Security Bill.

The shadow of Telangana has loomed large over the current monsoon session which began on August five resulting in precious little business in the Lok Sabha while BJP plans to raise the coal blocks allocation scam issue this week on the back of latest development relating to missing of certain files. Some Congress-ruled states, including Delhi and Haryana, have announced plans to rollout the measure from Tuesday to mark the former Prime Minister's birth anniversay.

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