On a day that Rajya Sabha passed the quota bill with an overwhelming majority, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav once again threatened to review support to the UPA, even as his party has come up with the demand for reservation to Muslims in government jobs.
"Our isolation (on the quota bill) works to our political advantage. The bill is against the interests of almost 82% of social groups. The party will continue to campaign on it and will make this an election issue in the 2014 elections," said party general secretary Rajesh Dixit.
Party sources, however, indicated that the SP won't withdraw support to the UPA.
"The SP will continue to make noise on the quota bill - when the bill is scheduled to be brought to Lok Sabha - but not go so far as to withdraw support to the UPA government at this stage."
For the record, the SP chief told reporters outside Parliament that the "party would think about continuing support" to the UPA coalition. He said "he had not succumbed to any pressure" in the wake of the ongoing CBI investigations against him.
"The condition of Muslims is worse than that of the scheduled castes and tribes. Reservations should be provided to the Muslims and there is no alternative to this," Yadav said.
SP forces adjournments
In Lok Sabha, the SP forced repeated adjournments on the issue.
Soon after the House met in the morning, the SP MPs were on their feet demanding time to speak on the issue of quota in promotions.
Led by MP Shailedra Kumar, party MPs trooped into the Well, contending that the bill had led to anxiety among government employees.
Parliamentary Affairs minister Kamal Nath tried to calm the MPs, but in vain.
Despite the apparent political consensus, the quota bill has created unease among different political parties. At a public function at Jaipur on Sunday, union minister Dr CP Joshi and senior BJP leader Dr, Murli Manohar Joshi were both reported to have expressed reservations against the Bill.