Food Security Bill

The Rajya Sabha passed the Food Security bill on Monday by a voice vote after hearing approximately 10-hour-long debate. Earlier, last week Lok Sabha passed the legislation.

Opposition party BJP and others had tabled a record number of 237 amendments in the bill but were either rejected or not pursued.

The bill will now finally move to President Pranab Mukherjee for his final assent, and will then become a law.

The Food Security Bill is a pilot project of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who was, however, out of the country on the day it was approved in the parliament. Congress sources said that she Monday flew to the US for a medical check-up.

The Food Security Bill was sent to the upper house by Food Minister K.V. Thomas.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the bill was nothing but just a "repackaging" of existing schemes in different states, and criticised the "hurry" for pushing up the bill through the legislation.

The bill, a part of the Congress election manifesto of 2009, is seen both as a welfare and a populist move acquire votes for a struggling Congress in upcoming elections to state assemblies and parliament.

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