Two more join opposition to women’s quota bill

June 9th, 2009 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) After Sharad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav, another Yadav leader, Lalu Prasad, Tuesday added his opposition to the women’s reservation bill, terming it as a conspiracy against regional parties to keep their leaders away from power.
Rebel Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh too termed the bill, which proposes to reserve 33 percent seats in parliament and the state legislatures for women, as a conspiracy against regional parties.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad said there should be reservation instead for women from the backward classes and the Muslim community, while Kalyan Singh said he was opposed to the bill in its present form. He said the women’s bill should have reservation for backward classes.

“By using the name of innocent women, there is a conspiracy to dilute the backward class movement (for growth) and to prevent regional parties and their leaders from making it to parliament,” Lalu Prasad said in the Lok Sabha during the motion of thanks to the president’s address.

He said: “There should be reservation within reservation for Muslims, Dalits, tribal and most backward classes.”

Referring to Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s speech in parliament last year in which he mentioned a Dalit woman named Kalavati in Uttar Pradesh, Lalu Prasad said: “We want to see Kalavati in parliament.”

Kalyan Singh, who won as an independent candidate backed by the Samajwadi Party, said: “There is a deep-rooted conspiracy against regional parties.”

“I welcome women’s reservation, but not in its present form. There should indeed be reservation within reservation.”

Earlier, Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav from Bihar and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav from Uttar Pradesh had made similar speeches in parliament.

Sharad Yadav had threatened to consume poison “just like Socrates” if the bill was passed in its present form and said that casteism was a bigger scourge. Mulayam Singh had exhorted the RJD to “prepare for an agitation” against the bill.

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