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Durga Shakti fallout: SP to vote against Food Bill in Parliament?

Durga Shakti fallout: SP to vote against Food Bill in Parliament?

New Delhi: The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Sunday ruled out support to the Centre's ambitious food security bill in its present form, amid the war of words between the UPA ally and the Congress over the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal.

On the eve of the Monsoon session of Parliament, SP leader Naresh Agarwal made it clear the bill in its present form was not acceptable and required certain amendments and that if need be the party will vote against it.

"If need be, we will vote against the bill," he said.

The SP, which provides crucial outside support to the UPA, has 22 members in the Lok Sabha and its backing is vital for the passage of the bill, which is touted as a "gamechanger" by the UPA government.

Agarwal, however, ruled out that the party's stand on the food bill had anything to do with Congress President Sonia Gandhi's letter on suspension of Nagpal by the Uttar Pradesh government. He hit out at the UPA dispensation for pursuing wrong policies.

He said such letters are routine and are of no importance.

Gandhi in her letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked the Centre to ensure Nagpal is not "unfairly treated",

Agarwal said there are many IAS and IPS officers who have been suspended or transferred in the past and this comes within the rights of the state government. "This cannot be made into a topic of debate," he added.

Agarwal said SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has made it clear that the party will not support the food bill in its present form.

He said the bill had many shortcomings and was against the interest of farmers.

Agarwal also questioned why Sonia Gandhi hadn't written a letter in support of Ashok Khemka, the Haryana IAS officer who had scrapped her son-in-law Robert Vadra's controversial land deals and was transferred.

Congress on Sunday hit out at SP for attacking Sonia Gandhi for her support to Nagpal and said the ruling party in UP is trying to hide what is essentially a case of corruption and illegal mining.

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