Sharp divisions emerged among the opponents of the women's reservation bill with Bihar Chief Nitish Kumar supporting the measure pitting himself against his party President Sharad Yadav who is opposed to it.
"When I was a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee, I had given a dissent note (more than a decade ago). Now the time has come to give women reservation in Parliament and State Assemblies. I will talk to Sharadji and appeal to him to ensure passage of the bill," Kumar told reporters in Patna.
However, JD-U President Sharad Yadav, a strong opponent of the Bill ever since its introduction in 1997, said
his party's opposition to the measure in its present form would continue.
The Constitution amendment bill seeking to provide reservation for women in Lok Sabha and Assemblies is slated to
come up for consideration on Monday in Rajya Sabha, where the JD-U has seven MPs. The party also has 20 MPs in the Lok Sabha.
The government is happily placed in the 245-member Rajya Sabha, where it has the support of 138 members of Congress, BJP and Left parties besides a number of small parties, which takes the backing to more than 165. The special majority required in the House with an effective strength of 233 is 155.