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Food security scheme to be launched on August 20
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New Delhi, July 13 (Agencies): Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday asked the states ruled by the party to implement in “letter and spirit” the food security scheme, which it sees as a “game-changer” in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections.

Gandhi held deliberations with Congress chief ministers on how to implement the food scheme seeking to provide cheap foodgrains to 82 crore people, for which an ordinance was promulgated last week.

Party sources said the chief ministers were told at the meeting to rollout the scheme in “letter and spirit”.

Delhi, where Assembly polls are due by year-end, will be the first state to roll out the scheme on August 20, the birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Besides Congress chief ministers, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party vice president Rahul Gandhi, Food Minister K V Thomas and AICC general secretaries were present during the deliberations.

The aim of the meeting was to ensure that the scheme is implemented in the best possible manner with Congress-ruled states becoming role models in implementation of the food security measure.

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme and the Food Security Act are being considered as major moves by Congress ahead of the 2014 General Elections as was the farmers' loan waiver scheme and MNREGA announced in UPA-I. The loan waiver and MNREGA schemes were credited among other things for return of UPA to power in 2009.

Several states, including Congress-ruled Karnataka and Uttarakhand, BJP-governed Chhattisgarh, SP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and JD(U)-run Bihar, could see early roll out of the programme.

Partymen wanted early roll out of the scheme so that the scheme is well in place by the time Lok Sabha Elections take place.

The Bill has been the pet project of Sonia Gandhi.

News Updated at : Saturday, July 13, 2013
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