Congress managers were finally able to bring around the opposition parties in supporting the food security bill in the Lok Sabha Monday as no party wanted to be seen as coming out openly against the populist welfare legislation aiming to benefit 75 percent and 50 percent of rural and urban populations, respectively.
According to informed sources, the fact that the opposition parties did not want to be seen against the food bill helped the Congress managers in convincing them on the issue.
Things became clearer this morning for the ruling party after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders assured the Congress that the bill would be passed Monday, sources said.
The fact that the BJP’s former ally Janata Dal-United was ready to support the bill softened the BJP’s resistance, which thought disrupting the house on the missing coal files issue beyond a limit would not help it politically.
Till last week, the BJP was disrupting parliament to demand Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement on the "missing files" related to the coal blocks allotment.
The BJP assured that if the changes suggested by it in the food bill were considered by the government it would help in passing the legislation, sources said.
The opposition was also allowed to raise the issue of the Uttar Pradesh government taking strict action against the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's Ayodhya march, they said.
Also, the Congress managers were able to convince the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party on the bill telling them that their concerns too would be taken care of.
The DMK too was taken on board.
The bill could not be taken up since the monsoon session started Aug 5.