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Cong to launch major campaign on food security bill

Hoping The Food Security Bill To Be A Game Changer In The Next Lok Sabha Elections, Congress Is All Set To Go The Whole Hog To Hard Sell The Key Measure Among Electorate With A Publicity Blitz.

PTI | Updated on: 10 Jul 2013, 10:00:48 PM

New Delhi:

Hoping the food security bill to be a "game changer" in the next Lok Sabha elections, Congress is all set to go the whole hog to hard sell the key measure among electorate with a publicity blitz.

The campaign will see party spokespersons fanned out across the country next week to organise workshops and press conferences to highlight the key measure of the UPA.

It will begin a couple of days after Sonia Gandhi addresses Chief Ministers of party-ruled states on July 13 to discuss the strategy to roll out the scheme, which aims at giving the nation's two-third population -- approximately 82 crore people -- the right to get 5 kg of foodgrains every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg.

Congress leaders have described it as an awareness campaign for party workers, which will be carried out by five AICC spokespersons -- Renuka Chowdhary, Bhakta Charan Das, Sandip Dikshit, Meem Afzal and chief spokesperson of Bihar Premchand Mishra, his counterpart in Maharashtra Mukesh Nayark and former IYC President Randeep Surjewala.

AICC general secretary and Communication Department in-charge Ajay Maken told reporters that the spokespersons would visit all the state capitals and organise press conferences and workshops for the PCCs, where the salient features of the bill and how to spread awareness among the masses will be spelt out to party workers.

Delhi, where assembly polls are due by year-end, will be the first state to roll out the scheme on August 20, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

For the Saturday meeting, 34 party leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Food Minister K V Thomas and Chief Ministers of 14 Congress-ruled states, AICC general secretaries and members of Congress Core Group, have been invited.

The idea is to ensure that the scheme is implemented in the best possible manner with Congress-ruled states becoming role models.

The meeting has been called days after the government rushed through an ordinance on the key measure, an indication that the party is keen to pull out all stops in propagating the scheme.

The government has been maintaining that the food security programme, when implemented, will be the biggest in the world with spending of an estimated Rs 125,000 crore annually on supply of about 62 million tonnes of rice, wheat and coarse cereals.

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First Published : 10 Jul 2013, 10:00:00 PM