LS: BJP attacks Sharad Pawar over rotting grains

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Sushma Swaraj
New Delhi, Aug 31: Hours after Supreme Court rapped Agriculture Minister for not heeding its directive on free distribution of foodgrains to the poor, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday, Aug 30 interrupted a discussion on the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha to raise the issue of rotting grains.

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj demanded an impromptu debate on the matter and sought the presence of Pawar in the house.

Questioning the government as to why it had acted on the earlier direction of the apex court, Swaraj said, “We want the Agriculture Minister to give us an assurance that the foodgrains would be distributed among the poor. The government should give us a plan to do it within a week."

BJP was backed by all Opposition parties in its campaign against the rotting grains and the Agriculture Minister.

Amid the din in the house, JD-U's Sharad Yadav said, “The highest court of the country has said that the earlier direction was an order not a suggestion. The government should distribute the foodgrains to areas which are drought prone."

Observing that the foodgrains are rotting and that the farmers are in a terrible condition, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said, "The situation is grim".

RJD leader Lalu Prasad asked the government to send the rotting foodgrains to drought affected Bihar.

Pawar, who arrived after the noisy "Call Pawar" agitation in the house, assured that the government would honour the decision of the Supreme Court.

Due to the uproar and slogan shouting, the house was adjourned twice on Tuesday, Aug 31.

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