RJD, SP oppose Women’s Bill; BSP wants quota outside quota


New Delhi : A bill aimed at earmarking 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and Assemblies is unlikely to have a smooth sailing in Parliament with ruling UPA member RJD and Samajwadi Party today vowing to oppose it.

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While Congress, Left and BJP welcomed introduction of the Women’s Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha, BSP added a new element by seeking a quota for women from SC/ST and OBCs outside the 33 per cent that has been proposed in the current legislation.

RJD supremo and Union Minister Lalu Prasad said his party would strive for quota within quota for women belonging to backward classes and minority communities and continue to oppose the present bill at various fora including in the Standing Committee where it has been referred.

Samajwadi Party, which is also seeking quota within quota for backwards and minorities, made its intentions evident as its members physically tried to thwart tabling of the bill in Rajya Sabha.

SP member Abu Asim Azmi said his party will continue to oppose the bill until reservation is ensured for women belonging to OBC, Dalits and Muslims.

“We will raise this issue when the bill comes up for discussion in the standing committee also,” he said.

BSP President and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati welcomed the introduction of Women’s Bill as an important step towards empowerment of the fair sex but sought separate reservation for women belonging to SC/ST and OBC categories.

She said that considering that women constitute half of the country’s population, it would be justified if they were given 50 per cent reservation at all levels of political structure of the country.