Mulayam Singh meets PM, seeks review of Food Security Ordinance

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the pros and cons of the Food Security Ordinance, which his party has opposed.

The UPA government opted to promulgate an ordinance rather than getting the Food Security Bill passed in Parliament knowing that neither the Samajwadi Party nor the UPA alliance partners might support the populist legislation.

Mulayam Singh, whose party is extending support to the UPA government from outside, was at Prime Minister's residence for nearly half-an-hour before the scheduled meeting of the union cabinet.

Mulayam Singh Yadav is reported to have proposed 10 changes in the Food Security Bill, without which his party will not back the bill.

The SP leader, however, refused to divulge what he discussed with the prime minister.

The SP leader had, last week, attacked the Congress party over the Food Security Ordinance, accusing it of indulging in vote bank politics ahead of the general election due next year.

"The intentions of the Congress are not good and my party would look into it and see that interest of farmers is not harmed. Congress is only doing vote politics...," Mulayam Singh had said.

"Over five lakh people died, mostly in Maharashtra, due to starvation...Why the government did not distribute food grains to them then?'' he asked.

He refused to comment on SP's support to the government and said his party was only opposing some of the policies of the government as it had done earlier as well.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, meanwhile, has called a meeting of senior party functionaries and Congress chiefs in states on Saturday to discuss the bill.