Food minister KV Thomas said the new name for the existing TPDS has been finalised after discussions with rural development minister Jairam Ramesh.
The ministry will soon approach the Cabinet for approval, he said. The ministry is also considering holding a contest to design a logo for the TPDS, Thomas said. "It's difficult to rename the food security Act as such a decision will require Parliament's approval while the TPDS can be renamed easily," said a government official explaining the rationale behind the move.
Apart from claiming sole credit for widening the coverage for subsidised grain through the food security Act, the Congress party aims to gain from the late leader's pro-poor image in the build-up to the 2014 general elections by re-naming the TPDS.
The ministry is also planning to supply grain through TPDS in five-kilo packages
with the logo.
Sources said such a move can potentially prevent some state governments from taking credit for cheaper grain by merging the TPDS with their local schemes. Some states offer grain at more subsidised rates after lifting the commodities supplied by the Centre through the TPDS and claim sole credit for their schemes.
They added that the food security Act, a pet project of the UPA, may be projected as a significant follow-up of Indira Gandhi's unfinished 'Garibi Hatao' campaign launched during the 1971 elections and the UPA's "aam admi" slogan in the last elections.
Congress-ruled states, such as Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi, have declared the launch of the food law while some others are in the process of rolling it out.
The food security Act, which provides for legal right to 67% of the population for 5 kg of grain a month at a price of R1-3 per kg through ration shops, received Parliament approval last month.