Confusion leads to re-polling

A misunderstanding among the treasury benches on a key clause that seeks to do away with cash transfers in lieu of food grains almost got deleted as the National Food Security Bill was being voted upon in a long, dreary process that stretched over three hours.

In the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj had moved an amendment to Clause 8 of the Bill to delete a provision that enabled governments to give a food security allowance in lieu of food grains. Swaraj’s amendment had already been defeated by a voice vote after which Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar had moved for a vote to keep Clause 8 as part of the bill.

Confused, the treasury benches voted against the move, thinking that the Speaker had put the amendment moved by Swaraj to vote after the Opposition members had sought a division.

Only 101 members voted in favour of keeping Clause 8 as part of the Bill, while 251 voted against. The Opposition members rejoiced seeing the result, much to the discomfiture of the government.

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