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RJD may snap ties with UPA on women's quota bill
May 07, 2008 21:03 IST
The Rashtriya Janata Dal, a key ally in the United Progressive Alliance, on Wednesday strongly opposed the Women's Reservation Bill in its present form. The party did not rule out withdrawing support from the Congress-led coalition at the Centre if its demand for quota within quota, for Dalit and minorities in the legislation, was not conceded.
"Our strategy includes everything," senior party leader Devendra Prasad Yadav said at a press conference, when asked whether the RJD would go to the extent of withdrawing support to the UPA on the issue.
He said that the RJD, the second largest bloc in the UPA, would move amendments in the Bill and even press for division if the party's demand for quota within quota for Dalit, minorities and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe women was not incorporated in the measure.
RJD's rigid stand might throw a spanner in the efforts of the UPA to ensure passage of the bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
"If the government ignores our demand, a political crisis bigger than the India-United States nuclear agreement may arise," Yadav, who is the deputy leader of the party in the Lok Sabha, said.
He accused the UPA of going against the 'coalition dharma' by overlooking the RJD's advice.
On Law Minister H R Bhardwaj's claim that there was unanimity over the measure in the Union Cabinet, he said it was not so as RJD supremo and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad had strongly opposed the bill in its present form at the meeting.
Yadav strongly objected to the manner in which the established practice of providing a copy of the bill to each member, 48 hours before its introduction, was not followed.
"This is unexpected and against the established parliamentary procedure. This is unprecedented in parliamentary democracy," he said, adding that a wrong tradition has been set.
Yadav warned the government that it should not take the RJD for granted. "We will not sit quietly. We will definitely raise our voice and we are ready to go to any extent," he said.
With Lok Sabha elections not far away and some states going to polls in the next few months, the RJD leader said his party has never compromised with the principle of social justice.
"We are committed to proportionate reservation for women belonging to SC, ST, OBC and minority communities. The present form of this bill is against the principle of social justice of the RJD," he added.