Shahdol, October 17: Hard selling UPA’s ‘game changer’ Food Security Act, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday reached out to the ‘aam admi’ during a public meeting in the poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, recalling that his mother and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was in tears as she failed to cast her vote in Lok Sabha when her pet project was being passed in August.
“I will not go until the bill is passed (despite being taken ill in Parliament). I have fought this battle for years. I will not go without pushing the button (casting the vote),” Mr. Rahul Gandhi quoted the Congress chief as having said on that day.
Mr. Gandhi said that he, being the son, was then feeling very angry that his mother was not going to a doctor despite being sick and was instead insisting on staying in the House.
He recalled that as Ms. Gandhi finally agreed to leave Parliament and visit a doctor ahead of the voting, she was in tears.
After much delay and uncertainty, the Food Security Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on August 26.
Ms. Gandhi, who is the main force behind the measure, could not participate in the voting as she had taken ill and had to leave the House at around 8.15 p.m. She was later admitted in AIIMS and discharged after spending five hours in the hospital.
The bill seeks to provide cheap foodgrains to 82 crore people in the country, ushering in the biggest programme in the world to fight hunger.
Taking a dig at the BJP-led NDA for its 2004 India Shining campaign and its development model, Mr. Gandhi said, “While they talk about development and shining India on the one hand, they ask from where will the money come when we talk about food and land acquisition measures.”