Mulayam Singh Yadav threatened in the Lok Sabha on Monday that his party would take to the streets if the Women’s Reservation Bill was passed in its present form.
The 69-year-old Samajwadi Party (SP) chief termed the Bill an attempt of the bigger political parties to crush the smaller ones.
He said, “It is like forcible administration of poison as was done to Socrates. You are giving poison to established leaders like Laluji, Sharadji, Murli Manoharji and me.”
“Now, this women empowerment talk is being done to deprive us of our hard-earned political careers,” Yadav said during the debate on the President’s address. Mulayam said, “We are ready. Laluji be ready. Sharadji, you also be ready for the protest.”
The two political opponents in Bihar — Lalu Prasad (61) of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Sharad Yadav (62) of the Janata Dal (United) — agreed with Yadav.
Sharad Yadav had threatened to commit suicide in the Lok Sabha last week if the Bill that aimed at reservation of 33 per cent seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures for women was passed.
Not ready to accept that women are not empowered, he gave the examples of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati (54), AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa (61), Congress president Sonia Gandhi (62) and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee (54).
Instead, Mulayam Singh suggested that women should be given a 20 per cent quota in parties. And the parties that did not follow it could be derecognised, he said.
Reacting to Mulayam’s stance, Sushma Swaraj, Deputy Leader of Opposition, said the BJP was in favour of the government trying for consensus for the Bill. “We have no problem with the Bill in any form but give us a time-frame when you will do it,” she said.
However, President Pratibha Patil had already said in her speech that the Bill would be introduced in the July session of Parliament.