New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday asked the Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states to implement the food security scheme in ‘letter and spirit.' The scheme, a brainchild of Sonia Gandhi, is being seen by the party as a major ‘game changer’ for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress president held deliberations with Congress Chief Ministers on how to implement the food scheme, which aims to provide cheaper foodgrains to 82 crore people. An ordinance was also promulgated last week in this regard.
Party sources said that the CMs were told at the meeting to rollout the scheme in ‘letter and spirit.’ The meeting was held at a time when the party is preparing for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and is keen to reach out to the people.
Delhi is due to hold Assembly polls by the year-end and it will be the first state to roll out the scheme on August 20, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Besides Congress CMs, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Food Minister KV Thomas, AICC general secretaries and core group members were present during the deliberations.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, Andhra Pradesh CM N Kiran Kumar Reddy and others were also present at the meeting.

The prime aim of the meeting was to ensure that the scheme is implemented in the best possible manner with Congress-ruled states becoming role models in the implementation of the food security scheme.
UPA government’s other welfare schemes like Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme and the Food Security Act are being considered as major trump-cards in the wake of the 2014 general elections. The loan waiver and MNREGA schemes were credited among other things for return of UPA to power in 2009. Congress wanted an early roll out of the scheme, so that it gets fully implemented by the time Lok Sabha polls take place.


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