Far from expressing regrets, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday defended his sexist remark about the kind of women the Lok Sabha would see as members if they enter it through a quota.
Yadav had recently been criticised by parties across the political spectrum for saying that the quota would enable elite women coming into Parliament – the kind who are "whistled at by youths".
At a meeting of party MPs, MLAs and office bearers in Lucknow, Yadav said he had made the remark deliberately and it was no slip of the tongue.
Yadav said his statement "achieved its purpose of triggering a controversy and leading to a discussion on the subject".
He said he was ready to hold more discussions on the issue.
The Samajwadi Party chief also propounded a convoluted theory that if the bill is enacted into law, there would be no men in the Lok Sabha after 11 years.
Advocating reservation for women within political parties instead, Yadav said it should be made mandatory for parties to give 15 to 20 per cent tickets to women to contest elections. A resolution to this effect was passed at Thursday’s meeting.
Asking the gathering to begin preparations for the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2012, Yadav said the Samajwadi Party has a list of 250 people engaging in anti-party activities. But he chose not to expel them.
Mohan Singh, Samajwadi national general secretary said it was most likely that Chief Minister Mayawati would recommend elections well before her term ends.
"Don’t think elections are far away. The way Mayawati has begun holding rallies and sit-ins indicate that she has begun preparing for elections and will not wait for the full term," he said.