Disagreeing with the Congress’ move to introduce an ordinance on the Food Security Bill, Union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar on Friday said the issue instead ought to be resolved through discussion in Parliament.
While there was no objection to the Food Security Bill per se by any party, the question is of resolving this legislation is through the Ordinance way or through discussion in Parliament, he said and added: “I endorse the Parliamentary discussion route.”
Asked about activists like Aruna Roy quitting the National Advisory Council over the differences on the provisions of the Bill, Mr. Pawar said: “It is good that some so-called experts have left.”
Mr. Pawar further stressed the need to invest more on agriculture-related infrastructure to strengthen the Food Security Policy.
“The country generated a staggering revenue of Rs. 1,67,000 crore through its export of rice, wheat, sugar and cotton,” he said.
He dismissed the possibility that the availability of labourers would decrease once the Food Security Bill is passed.
“Under this Bill, one family is entitled to get only 25 kg of foodgrain every month. That much of foodgrain is not enough for a family.
They will have to buy the additional foodgrain from the market,” he said.
Taking potshots at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Pawar said, “Those whose names make rounds for the top post never get the same. Their bubble eventually bursts.”
Ruling out the possibility of an early Parliamentary poll, Mr. Pawar said: “I had assessed that an early election could be held if the Budget Session of Parliament was not smooth … But the session nevertheless went through.”
Mr. Pawar, who is also the former president of International Cricket Council, declined to answer any question on the Board of Control for Cricket in India, merely remarking that he was not associated with the body anymore.
At the same time, he endorsed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s views that politics should not be mixed with sports, claiming: “I never brought politics in sports.”