6 Mar : The Congress and BJP on Friday issued a three-line whip to their members for backing the women’s reservation bill coming up in the Rajya Sabha on Monday but the Opponents are bracing up for a fight to stall the legislation hanging fire for 13 years.
The 71-MP strong ruling Congress is determined to push ahead with the Constitution amendment bill on Monday in the Rajya Sabha, which has an effective strength of 233, coinciding with the International Women’s Day.
However, the numbers are stacked against the opponents of the bill which is seen as an attempt by the Congress to break the Opposition unity over issues of price rise and fuel price hike.
The BJP, which has 45 members, and the Left parties (22) have already declared their support to the legislation that seeks to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and Assemblies. The Left parties are expected to issue similar whips to their members.
The Opponents to the measure, who number 26 in the House, have declared “war” against the legislation. SP Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD Chief Lalu Prasad stuck to their opposition to the bill in its present form and demanded quota within quota for backward and Mulism women.
Mayawati-headed BSP, which 12 MPs, has kept its cards close to the chest. The party will meet in Lucknow on Saturday to finalise its strategy on the issue, BSP MP Brajesh Pathak said. Government sources said they were counting on the support of BSP.