Although the BJP has backed the UPA government’s plan to bring the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament, trouble is brewing within the party on this issue.
Its backward classes leaders are upset on the fact there is no reservation within the 33 per cent quota for women in the proposed Bill and the party is not responding to their concerns.
Even as the issue is to taken up at the BJP’s national executive on June 20 and 21, BJP general secretary Vinay Katiyar on Thursday came out against the Bill in its present form.
“If this Bill is passed in its present form then the unity and integrity of the country will be affected. It will create a big problem,” Katiyar told reporters.
Katiyar also demanded that no party should issue a whip to its MPs when the Bill is put to vote. “No whip should be issued and the MPs should be allowed to vote on the women’s bill according to their conscience.”
The BJP has taken the stand that the government must bring the Bill as early as possible. “The party has already directed that issues be raised within party fora,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
He said “There is no scope of compromise on the issue. The BJP has requested the government to present the Bill on 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and get it passed,” he said.
Rudy said the BJP had already implemented 33 per cent reservation for women in the party organisation. “We have made our stand clear in our manifesto and conveyed our stand to the government on various fora,” he said.
Last Monday, Sushma Swaraj said the BJP was in favour of the government trying for consensus for the Women’s Reservation Bill to remove misgiving of leaders like SP’s Mulayam Singh Yadav.
“We have no problem with the Bill in any form but give us a time frame when you will do it,” she had said.