Women’s quota bill passage will invite agitation: Mulayam

June 8th, 2009 - 6:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, June 8 (IANS) Days after President Pratibha Patil declared the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in parliament as one of the top priorities of the government, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav Monday opposed the bill saying that its passage would invite an agitation.
Mulayam Singh, who argued for the provision of reservation for women from the backward classes and minorities in parliament, warned of an agitation if the bill was passed in its present form.

He further demanded convening of an all party meeting to seek opinion of various political parties.

“A meeting of leaders of all the parties should be called. And their opinion on the bill should be sought. Any arbitrary decision will not be acceptable,” Mulayam Singh said in the Lok Sabha.

The Samajwadi Party leader followed the footsteps of Janata Dal-United’s Sharad Yadav who threatened to commit suicide by consuming poison in parliament if the women’s quota bill was passed.

While outlining the priorities of the new United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on June 4 for the next 100 days, President Pratibha Patil said Women’s Reservation Bill - that provides for one-third reservation to women in state legislatures and parliament - would be passed at the earliest.

Also, Mulayam Singh wondered where the male leaders would go if the proposed law is accepted.

“If the bill is passed, where will the male leaders of the parties go? The parties will become leaderless. Why should we do away with the leaders of the parties by passing the bill?” he said.

Mulayam Singh said the women leaders were powerful and did not need any reservation as no one dares to challenge their diktat in their parties.

“In Congress party, Soniaji (Sonia Gandhi) is the most powerful. Mamataji (Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee) is very powerful in her party. One woman leader (AIADMK chief Jayalalitha) in Tamil Nadu is also very powerful,” he said.

He said the president and Lok Sabha speaker were also women and were elevated to the posts without any reservation.

However, Mulayam Singh did not refer to Bahujan Samaj Party chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati who is his arch rival in Uttar Pradesh.

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