Tapovan: In the third day of winter session of HP Vidhan Sabha, Opposition attacks ruling party over Food Security Bill and later staged walkout from the assembly. Opposition termed Food Security Bill a political gimmick, and raised objection over the central bill and demanded that it should have been brought to the House for discussion before applying it in the state.

The discussion was called under Rule 130 by Mahinder Singh Thakur. Opposition member Govind Thakur stated that the public distribution system had turned into a public disturbance system while Sarveen Choudhary stated that Food Security Bill was a political gimmick. Replying to the allegations, Food & Civil Supplies Minister G S Bali stated that Congress schemes benefited people of all segments. Unsatisfied with the reply of minister, opposition members raised slogans and walked out in between the reply of GS Bali. Opposition claimed that the minister failed to give a satisfactory reply, which prompted them to stage a walkout.

GS Bali, in his reply, rubbished the allegations of opposition of corruption in procurement of items supplied under the subsidised ration scheme and stated that there was corruption during the BJP regime. He said that the cases have been registered by the Vigilance against some officers in this regard. Bali also pointed out that previous BJP Govt had left a liability of Rs 102 crore under the subsided ration scheme and upon this Mohinder Singh and other opposition members objected it and staged a walk out.

However, Minister claimed that opposition had misled the people by citing incorrect figures and now when he was giving the authentic data, they had walked out. He said that the correct figure was 17.15 lakh ration cards and, in all, 36.82 lakh persons were to be covered under the scheme.

He said the public distribution system had collapsed during the BJP rule and the people were supplied substandard ration as evident from the fact that 15.32 per cent samples of pulses failed in 2010-11, 17.55 per cent in 2011-12 and 19.66 per cent in 2012-13. Similarly, the percentage of failed samples of oil was 11.11 per cent, 21.5 per cent and 8.52 per cent for the three years.

While giving the detail of the procured items, Minister said that a total provision Rs 237 crore had been made. So far, 1,83,586 tonne of wheat flour, 1,16,606 tonne of wheat, 1,86,501 tonne of rice,31,133 tonne of pulses and 30,904 tonne of edible oil had been supplied. Over 70 per cent of the stocks had been lifted from the stores of the State Civil Supplies Corporation.

Later speaking to the press personnel, leader of opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal stated that the minister was giving irrelevant answers. He said that he was not addressing actual problems being faced by the people of the state and that irked opposition and forced them to walkout. Shimla MLA Suresh Bhardwaj said the minister was digressing from the main issues and not replying to the specific issues raised by the members.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.