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Govt to face stiff opposition over delay in caste census: JD(U)

delhi Updated: Jul 11, 2010 19:45 IST

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The government will face a united opposition if there was further "dilly dallying" in carrying out caste census and JD(U) will continue to oppose the Women's Reservation Bill in its present form in Parliament, party chief Sharad Yadav said on Sunday.

Lashing out at the Centre for "dilly dallying" the decision over including caste in the census, Yadav said, "There was complete unanimity over the inclusion of caste in the census both in NDA and the UPA. Except its one or two members, even Congress as a whole had supported the idea. Now if they give excuses for delaying it, it will not be tolerated."

"The recent decision of the Group of Ministers (GoM), constituted to go into the issue, to write letters to all parties on it raises doubts that the government wants to just delay it," he told PTI in an interview with just over a fortnight to go for the monsoon session to begin.

Yadav had a few days back shot off a letter to Mukherjee ruing that the government is dragging its feet over the issue.

"First of all it did not take up the issue of caste census during many cabinet meetings. After wasting some weeks, it took up the issue and decided to form a GoM, which was unwarranted. Again the GoM did not act swiftly. After wasting many days, the GoM decided to seek from the political parties their views in writing on the issue. This is yet another delaying tactics of the government," Yadav said in the letter.

On the Women's Bill issue he said, "There is no question of supporting the Women's Bill in its present form in the upcoming monsoon session. Our opposition to it is not new. We are opposing it openly. The majority of leaders in all parties, including Congress, do not want it but they cannot express it publicly."

It's not a question of NDA or UPA. If parties issue no whip on it, the Bill will fall flat... with no support from any quarter," Yadav said.

He recalled that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had assured him and others opposing the Bill in its present form that that a decision on it will be taken only after an all party meeting.

Asked what will be the reaction of the opponents of the Bill if it is brought before Lok Sabha in this session, Yadav said, "How can they pass the bill like this? This will evoke a stronger opposition in Lok Sabha. It is not Rajya Sabha where they can marshal out members and pass the Bill as they did on March 9."

Yadav downplayed the 'differences' that had surfaced in the JD(U) when the Women's Bill was passed in the Upper House, in which the majority of its party members had supported the Bill after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's statement in favour of it, saying "the party MPs in Lok Sabha had opposed it".