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BJP rushes to quell dissent

delhi Updated: Mar 11, 2010 23:41 IST
Vikas Pathak
Vikas Pathak
Hindustan Times
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The Congress has walked away with the credit despite the BJP’s all out support to the women's quota Bill in the Rajya Sabha, feel many in the saffron party. The BJP also squandered a chance to pin the government down on price rise and internal security because of its preoccupation with the Bill.

These were the concerns that the BJP MPs shared with the party brass when they met at the residence of senior leader L.K. Advani on Thursday evening.

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had called the meeting following some MPs dissent over
the Bill further embarrassing the party. Most Lok Sabha

MPs attended the meeting, immediately after which the party swung into damage control.

It warned the use of marshals would not be tolerated when the Bill goes to the Lok Sabha. The statement is meant to serve dual purpose — divert attention from dissent and corner the government by assuming a high ground on propriety in Parliament.

"The parliamentary party is angry about the use of marshals," Swaraj said, referring to seven members being marshalled out of the Rajya Sabha ahead of the vote on the Bill. "We will not agree to the use of marshals at any cost in the Lok Sabha. We, however, fully support the Bill and want debate and voting on it."

The government should have tired out the members sitting in the well and got them removed once they were out of the House, Swaraj and Jaitley said earlier in the day.

The MPs would be briefed on the outcome of the all-party meet called by the government, said Swaraj. "Each MP will accept the decision of the leadership, and obey the whip."

Hukumdev Narain Yadav, one of the dissenters, had piped down by the time the meeting was called.

While Congress president Sonia Gandhi was projected as "mother India", the BJP got no credit, an MP is believed to have said. There were concerns that in case the government would agree to quota within quota, the BJP would be in a spot over reservation for Muslim women.

To his reported concerns that price rise and security issues had been overlooked, Yogi Adityanath was told that a discussion on security was due next week in Parliament.