Nationalist Congress Party leader and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of early elections saying the national food security programme had to be implemented first for which the States had been given six months to prepare.
Asked if the government took the Ordinance route for the Food Security Bill to bring forward general elections (due next May) he said, “I don’t think so.’’
“States have been given six months to identify the eligible beneficiaries under the scheme. Then full implementation of the scheme will start. No early elections. Food has to reach the people [first],’’ he told journalists on the sidelines of the Foundation Day of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Mr. Pawar said that now that the date for the commencement of the monsoon session of Parliament had been announced, he was confident that the Bill would be discussed and passed.
“I think everybody will support the Bill and it will go through,’’ he said.
Asked about the rising prices of fruits and vegetables, he said it was “worrisome’’ but it was a “temporary phenomenon.’’
In several States transportation of supplies had been hit by rain and floods and that had affected arrivals in mandis. The situation would improve in the coming weeks.