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NAC to look after food, communal harmony


Marya Shakil,CNN-IBN
Jun 01, 2010 at 11:31am IST

New Delhi: The National Advisory Council, brain-child of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, will re-start work soon. Set up in 2004 the National Advisory Council will this time have some new faces. But some of the names in the new council has left the BJP worried.

Who are these people and what makes them the chosen one for the Congress as it pushes forward its social sector agenda of the Food Security Bill and the Communal Harmony bill?

"These are handpicked people to push forward the Congress agenda of tarnishing images. We will keep a watch," says BJP Spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman.

BJP is worried as almost half of the new group of 11 people are vociferous opponents of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

One of the members, Harsh Mander came into prominence after Gujarat genocide of 2002 and heads "Aman Biradari" which work for communal harmony.

Farah Naqvi, writer and bold champion of Minority causes, is another vocal critic of Modi.

"I had taken a strong position on communal violence (and) will push for a law that prevents communal violence the kind we saw in Gujarat riots of 2002 to make governments accountable and also watch their acts of omission," says Mander

NAC will also be looking at food security in a big way. Former bureaucrats like Dr NC Saxena and Narendra Jadhav are responsible for ensuring food security.

"Food security is our concern as declining availability of food grains and large number of deaths is happening in the country," says Food Commissioner NC Saxena.

In 2006, Sonia Gandhi was forced to step down from NAC chairperson's post due to the Office of Profit controversy. Now with a fresh mandate, the Congress President wants to restart many projects which had been cut short.

In UPA-I, the NAC made landmark contributions like Right to Information Act and the NREGA, and now the agenda seems to have shifted but is clear. In its second stint the NAC would draft Food Security and Communal Harmony Bills.

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