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Trouble in BJP over women's bill, party decides to issue whip

PTI  New Delhi, March 11, 2010
First Published: 11:41 IST(11/3/2010) | Last Updated: 11:47 IST(11/3/2010)

Trouble is brewing for the Women's Reservation Bill with a section of BJP MPs in Lok Sabha xpressing their opposition to the measure and threatening to vote against it and the party today decided to crack on the dissenters by issuing a whip to them to back it.

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The BJP top brass swung into damage control and decided to issue a whip to its MPs to make them toe the party line.

Facing rebellion, top party leaders including the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and former party chief Rajnath Singh met the dissenting MPs this morning and sought to allay their fears over the bill which seeks to reserve one third of the seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women and will unseat that number of men.

We will issue a whip to party MPs when the bill comes up in Lok Sabha," Swaraj said after the meeting. Defiance of the whip can attract disqualification provisions against the members.BJP MPs had supported the measure in Rajya Sabha.

Prominent among those opposing the bill are Yogi Adityanath, MP from Gorakhpur, former union minister Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav, an old socialist from Janata Dal parivar, and party's chief whip in the Lok Sabha Ramesh Bais.

Some of the party MPs are even said to have threatened to vote against the measure when it is taken up in the Lower House.The support of BJP, which has 116 members in Lok Sabha, is crucial for the passage of the Constitutional amendment bill.


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