Food security bill in current form unacceptable: Karat

"This will not be a good food security legislation as they are trying to restrict the food security to certain sections of society. They have already given a quota - 46 percent of the population in rural areas and 28 percent in urban areas. Thus, a vast section of the poor will continue to be excluded," Karat said.

"Secondly, the price of rice, which is two rupees (a kg) in many states, has been kept at three rupees (a kg). So, is this helping food security or curtailing food security? We are not happy with many aspects of the food security bill. We want a strong food security bill," said Karat.

He also criticised union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's statement on price rise in parliament. "We have a government which does not seem worried with double digit inflation. The government attitude was projected in union finance minister's speech on price rise, which justified that government can't do anything more," said Karat.

Commenting on the proposed land acquisition bill, Karat said: "We want a new law which will combine both land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement." "We are being told that government is thinking on these lines to have a combined bill and that should be a comprehensive bill which will look after the interest of the farmers. We are waiting for the bill to come out and then we will concretise our stand," said Karat.

He also announced the CPI-M central committee's decision to hold the 20th Congress of the party at Kozhikode in Kerala. The Congress will be held April 4-9 next year.

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