Left stages walkout in RS over foodgrain quota to Kerala

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New Delhi, Apr 25 (UNI) The Left members in the Rajya Sabha today staged a walkout strongly contesting Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's assertion that there was no reduction in the allocation of foodgrains to Kerala, and it was the state which was not lifting the quota.

The issue was raised by Mr Sitaram Yechuri of the CPI(M) through a supplementary during the Question Hour.

Mr Yechuri wanted to know why there was a reduction in the quota of foodgrains to Kerala when, according to the Minister's own admission, the procurement was good and other states were getting the required supply from the Centre.

Mr Pawar said he was aware of the situation in Kerala and he had also taken up the matter with the Andhra Pradesh authorities to supply the required quantities to the state.

However, Mr Yechuri said he wanted a pointed reply to his question as to why the Centre was not restoring the original quota to Kerala. To this, Mr Pawar said the problem of Kerala resulted from its inability to lift the foodgarins allocated to it.

This evoked simultaneous protests from all the Left members, including Ms Brinda Karat of Mr Yechuri's party, and they said what the Minister was saying was absolutely incorrect.

Accusing the Centre of being discriminatory to the state, they walked out of the House minutes before the Question Hour was over.

UNI NAZ RR BD1400

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