Providing food to poor is not wastage of money: Rahul

Rahul Gandhi_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0adf.jpg

New Delhi: Virtually launching the election campaign in the capital, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday attacked the opposition for criticising the food security law, saying money spent on giving food to the poor cannot be called a "waste".
Addressing his first public meeting ahead of the coming assembly polls, the Congress Vice President hailed the rights-based entitlements approach of the UPA government and claimed that for the first time in thousands of years, no one will go hungry in the country.
"When the need to provide food security to the poor was discussed in Parliament, the Opposition spoke against it and said money will be wasted. If this is waste of money, then we will keep wasting it. Is providing someone with food a waste of money? If money is spent on it, then so be it. For the first time in thousands of years, no one in this country will go hungry," he said adding, "We want the poor people of the country to stand on their feet."
Gandhi was speaking at a function after handing over documents offering ownership rights to the first batch of residents of the resettlement colonies in Delhi. The ambitious law, expected to benefit 82 crore people in the country, is seen as a "game changer" by the Congress as it prepares to face general elections due in May next year.
The BJP had termed the Bill as a "gimmick" with an eye on elections though the party supported it. Some parties, including UPA's outside supporter Samajwadi Party, had criticised the bill saying it will put additional financial burden on states.
A section of the corporate world has also slammed the Bill saying it will increase the financial burden on the government when the economy was going through a difficult phase.
"We are giving rights to people. Rights means guarantee of development," Gandhi said. Gandhi also listed the number of rights that the Congress-led UPA government has provided the people.
"People speak of corruption these days. The Right to Information Act, which arms people with the right to ask questions to the government, was made possible by the Congress. When we suggested providing employment as a right, people who came from outside the country asked how will we be able to provide employment to so many people. But even this we have fulfilled," he said.
In his address, Gandhi said UPA government has ensured inclusive growth by changing the development paradigm through a number of historic legislation like Food Security Bill, Right to Information Act and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
"We have brought a number of legislation in the last 10 years which have changed the development paradigm," he said. Noting various initiatives of UPA government, particularly to ensure welfare of the poor people, Gandhi said India was going through a "transition" and had the potential to occupy the "first position" among all the countries soon.

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