New Delhi, Aug 26: Amid lot of controversies, UPA Chairperson and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said on Monday it was time to take a "historic step" by implementing the Food Security Bill that promises to provide cheap staple food to two-thirds of the Indian population.
Speaking on the discussion in Lok Sabha on Food Bill, Sonia Gandhi said: "I am standing in support of food bill. It's time to take the historic step."
She said, "We had promised food security in 2009. I am happy to announce we are fulfilling that promise."
"It is my fervent appeal that we shall pass this unanimously. We are open to constructive criticism, we must rise above differences to pass this," Gandhi said, reading from a written statement.
"The food bill is meant for the less fortunate sections of our society. The food bill is a historic step to eradicate hunger."
"It is time to send out a big message that India can take the responsibility of ensuring food security for all," she said. Her son and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi was also present in the house.
"Our goal in the near future should be to wipe out hunger and malnutrition," she announced.
Meanwhile, BJP's senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi accused the government by saying, "This is not a Food Security Bill but a vote security bill."
She first read out in Hindi and then switched to English.
Monsoon session extended
The current Monsoon session that was scheduled till August 30 has been extended up to September 6.