Narendra Modi rues absence of BJP imprint on Food Security Bill
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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is learnt to have regretted that the BJP could not leave a tangible imprint on the National Food Security Bill that was passed by Lok Sabha this week.
Modi, who was in Delhi for a dinner hosted by party president Rajnath Singh for BJP MPs and parliamentary board members, was learnt to have given this indication during interactions with MPs.
"We could not take the credit for being the architects of this Bill," an MP who was present quoted Modi as having said. The MP, however, said that Modi's tone had been more of "regret" than of criticism of the party's leadership in the Lok Sabha.
"That did not appear to be the case to me," said the MP when asked if Modi's remarks were a criticism of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Murli Manohar Joshi, who initiated the discussion on the Bill.
Incidentally, Swaraj, in her final remarks during the passage of the Bill, said that the legislation was "half-baked", and that the BJP would plug the deficiencies when it came to power.
"He (Modi) was unhappy that the government bulldozed the Bill through, projecting itself as its architect, even though BJP governments were better at it," said the source.
Modi had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on August 7 highlighting deficiencies in the legislation and asked him to call a meeting of chief ministers to plug them. That did not happen, and several amendments moved by BJP leaders — Joshi, Swaraj, Sanjay Dhotre and Nishikant Dubey among others — ostensibly seeking to plug those deficiencies, were rejected during the vote.