Congress president Sonia Gandhi continues to take keen interest in the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill and has been telling activists that they should work on Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee for her support.
Mamata's turnaround on the bill, after initially pledging support, has been a big setback for its proponents. "Mamata ko manao (persuade Mamata)", she told a delegation that called on her last week to tell her to try and push the bill in the current monsoon session of parliament.
Its champions think the bill, which has already been passed in the Rajya Sabha, can muster the two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha if the floor managers of the ruling party are able to lobby well among the UPA allies, the objections from the Yadav trio (Mulayam, Lalu Prasad and Sharad) notwithstanding.
The BJP, they say, will support, despite its current confrontationist stance against the government, as both Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley are firmly committed to it. The bill aims to reserve 33 percent of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women.