Food Security Scheme holds as leaders differ in opinion

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 20 (UNI) An ambitious food secuity scheme proposed by the LDF Government in Kerala is hanging in balance following reported differences of opinion between the top leaders of the CPI(M) and the CPI.

The two-day meeting of the ruling LDF, convened here today to discuss the issue, had to be called off abruptly within an hour, following the alleged verbal duel between the leaders.

The CPI, which heads the Food and Agriculture department, wanted the scheme to be implemented through their ministers, while the CPI(M) suggested that it would be ideal for the Chief Minister to head the sub-committee for better coordination of various departments.

The Integrated Food Security (IFS) scheme aims to increase area under paddy cultivation from 2.7 lakh to three lakh hectare in three years. The state Planning Board recommended the Government that the scheme be implemented with the coordination of at least seven departments - Agriculture, Food and Civil Supplies, Local Self-Government, Irrigation, Finance, Fisheries and Cooperation.

CPI state Secretary Veliyam Bharghavan insisted that there was no question of allowing others to encroach upon the departments headed by his party members. Since the scheme was directly related to food and agriculture, the respective ministers should be given charge of the scheme, he argued.

Meanwhile, LDF convenor Vaikom Viswam said the issue would be discussed further by the LDF. Today's meeting was cut short since the Chief Minister had to leave for Delhi.

This was the second time the LDF meeting convened to discuss the food security issue was called off abruptly. A special Cabinet meeting convened here recently had also remained inconclusive following the difference of opinion among the ministers.

UNI CR GKT PY HT2110

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