SP leader Naresh Agarwal said,"If needed, we will vote against the bill". This is a clear indication that the UPA can expect a turn in the tables when it comes to getting the food bill passed.
Will this be a major issue in the parliament's monsoon session today? Yes. Because the SP would also drag the IAS officer Ashok Khemka versus Robert Vadra case and re-direct the corruption charges at the UPA. It might ask for similar reaction from the Congress president in the case where the honest IAS officer was transferred.
"Both issues are totally different. That (Vadra's) was a civil matter. Khemka was transferred along with other officers and not suspended...," Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit said.
While this could be a dampener in the Monsoon session, Congress is not worried about the consquences. Members believe that even if the SP does not back it, the food bill is likely to have a smooth approval in the Lok Sabha, especially because the BJP supports the bill in principle, but wants some changes.
A potential vote winner for the UPA government in the next elections, the UPA would have serious thinking to do if the BJP too backs out, especially as the Left parties (24 Lok Sabha members) too have reservations regarding the bill.
SP, however, has reasons to rejoice, even though it is cornered by the media, people and the opponents. Health Minister Ahmad Hasan said that the party has won muslim votes inevitably, which was evident from the huge turnaround at the Iftar party at the CM's resident. "Look at the enthusiasm among people here at Roza iftar party," said Hasan.