No Women's Bill without consensus: Mulayam


SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav threatened that his party and other parties opposed to the Bill would resort to agitations if the government ever tried to get it passed in its present form without provision for reservation for women belonging to backward castes and minorities in the bill. He aired his party's views while taking part in a debate on ‘Motion of Thanks' to President for addressing a joint session of Parliament on June 4.

His comments on the Women's Reservation Bill came close on the heels of recent remarks by JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, who even threatened to commit suicide if the Bill is passed.

The old row over the Women's Reservation Bill re-erupted after President Pratibha Patil in her address to a joint session of Parliament stated that the new UPA Government would take steps for its early passage in the LS within the first 100 days of its second tenure. Yadav said he was not against greater participation of women in politics but it should be done through consensus. "This Bill is dangerous for the leadership of the LS. It is a conspiracy. It would finish the leadership," he added. He tried to reach out to the BJP, JD (U), RJD and Left and sought their support to stall the bill which provides for 33 per cent reservation for women in the LS and State Assemblies.

The SP chief asked the Government to convene an all-party meet to build consensus on the Women's Reservation Bill. He said that the Congress might experience a 1989-like rout in the next elections if it did not care for the consensus in the House. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal pointed out that more than five million girl children were denied their right to be born, in India every year.

Quoting UN estimates, she said 2000 unborn girls had been aborted illegally everyday in the country and 90 per cent of all abortions conducted were to eliminate the girl child.

Senior BJP MP and Deputy Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said the government should take effective steps to curb female foeticide first to empower women. She pointed out that the President had merely mentioned that the new government would take steps within its first 100 days to get the Women's Bill passed in the House.

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