Lalu joins 'nay' chorus

Lalu joins 'nay' chorus

Lalu, who is the third leader to oppose the Bill in its present form, warned in Lok Sabha of a major movement if quotas for SCs, STs, OBCs and minorities were not included in the Bill.

Already, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav has demanded scaling down of the quota from 33 to 20 per cent while Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United) has threatened to consume poison if the Bill was passed.

However, even as the Yadav troika of the Hindi heartland opposed the Bill, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the UPA government would do its best to turn it into reality, a commitment President Pratibha Patil made on its behalf.

In his reply to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President, Singh did not mention the Bill. He later told journalists that he did not refer to it as the President’s address had expressed his government’s keenness to make reservation of women in the legislatures a reality.

The controversial Bill returned to the centre of political row ever since the President’s address on June 4 mentioned that the new UPA government would take steps within the first 100 days of its tenure to get the bill passed in the Lok Sabha.

Lalu said the backward sections of society must be represented in the legislatures and that was why the Bill should contain provisions for quota within quota. The principal Opposition party, BJP, has rejected Mulayam Singh Yadav’s proposal to scale down the quota.

Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told Deccan Herald that her party would not compromise on the percentage of seats to be reserved for women in the state Assemblies and Parliament and would also keep on opposing any move to introduce quota-within-quota.
She, however, added that the BJP was open to “other alternatives” to reach a consensus.
Former UP chief minister and Independent MP Kalyan Singh also termed the Bill a “deep conspiracy” by the Congress and the BJP to keep the downtrodden sections away from power and development.
He asked Sharad Yadav, who is the NDA convenor, to discuss the issue with the BJP leaders so that they could raise the demand for quota within quota.

Women’s Quota Bill

* Lalu warns of major movement if quotas for the backward classes and minorities were not included in the Bill.
* Manmohan Singh optimistic about turning Bill into a
* SP had demanded scaling down of the quota from 33 to 20 per cent while JD-U also was  averse to Bill in present form.
* BJP for no compromise on percentage of seats, opposes quota-within-quota.
* Kalyan Singh also terms the bill as Cong-BJP conspiracy to marginalise the downtrodden.

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