Opposition stages walkout against reply of Minister in debate over PDS scheme


All 26 members of Bharatiya Janta Party legislative today staged walkout against the reply over Civil Supplies Minister G.S. Bali into the debate over Food Security Act and failure of Public Distribution System scheme in the state .

As minister was reading a written statement about Food Security Act in the house this afternoon opposition members demanded to lay the statement and give clarification to their debate but as they could not concede the minister so they moved out of house shouting slogan in the house.

In his reply later, Civil Supplies Minister G.S. Bali charged the BJP with manipulated figures as per their own convenience. He said the people were getting quality ration on time and the Congress government has not only earmarked more money (Rs. 237 Crore) for PDS for this financial year, but has ensured that the backlog of ration is also made available to the people.

He said the figures corroborate this. He said people never got quality in previous BJP regime and most of the samples of sugar, oil and salt failed.

As soon as the BJP members left the house, Bali condemned them and said they were running away from the debate on such an important issue touching the common man.

“They do not have the guts to listen to the facts and can only criticize as per their own convenience,” he said. He said that the BJP walkout was pre-planned and the opposition only wanted to make a headline with this act, as there was no substance in their allegations.

The intentions of the Congress party are very clear on the issue, while previous BJP government was involved in scams even in PDS. About PDS, the opposition terms the Public Distribution System as ‘Public Disturb System’ and said the minister was not replying to the real issues raised by them.

The discussion was initiated by BJP member Mahendra Singh Thakur on Tuesday and more than ten members from BJP and Congress participated in it.

While Mahendra Singh had set the tone for offensive against the Civil Supplies Minister for failures in the PDS in Himachal Pradesh, most of the BJP members, including Satpal Singh Satti, Sarveen Chaudhary and Suresh Bhardwaj were equally aggressive and said the common man was suffering in the Congress regime.

The BJP members alleged that the Rajiv Gandhi food scheme had no relevance as the government had already been giving subsidized ration to different categories of people. They said the Congress government had failed to purchase ration on time and people were going back empty handed from ration depots every now and then.

“The ration, particularly sugar, is of bad quality and is not being made available to people for months together. There is hue and cry in the entire state, but the minister is sitting pretty and with no accountability and no one is to question him,” the BJP members said, as they cautioned the Congress government that people would question them on the issue at right time.

The Congress members, including Asha Kumari, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Jagjivan Pal and Ravi Thakur, praised the Congress party for its concern for the poor folks of the country on food security scheme and said the BJP was opposing it for political reasons. They said the previous BJP regime had messed up the PDS in five years and Mr. Bali is now trying to correct the things, which would take some time.

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