Government on Wednesday ruled out providing 'quota within quota' for OBCs and Muslims in the Women's Reservation Bill and said there was no deliberate delay in bringing the measure to Lok Sabha on perceived threat to its stability.
Unfazed by threats of withdrawl of support by allies like SP and RJD, the Government is absolutely confident and has no worries about numbers in Lok Sabha or about passage of the money bills in the lower house.
"There is no provision for sub quota for OBCs or minorities under the present scheme of things in Constitution and also because there is no data available even today on communities and castes under the census," Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told PTI in an interview.
"Even if we want to have a national census on communities and castes and if we want to concede to the demand of leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad, we have to wait for another 15 years for the 2021 census to be completed. We cannot wait that long for bringing this legislation," he said.
Moily said for this to happen the national policy followed since 1931 has to be changed for changing the census procedure.
"Any bill that will have quotas within quota will be struck down in limine by courts as unconstitutional," he said.
Asked whether the Government was not in a hurry to bring the Women's Bill to Lok Sabha because it was keen on getting the money bills passed without any hindrance, Moily said, "We have no such strategy to delay.
"In fact we are anxious to get it passed at the earliest and that is our commitment. It (consideration in Lok Sabha) depends on the business advisory committee, which determines the time for it. The BAC is meeting on Friday."
"Independent of everything, the Bill will go through. We are accustomed to threats. Many a time hurdles have been crossed," he said adding even during the nuclear deal there were predictions that the Government would go "but everything was belied".
Referring to the strident opposition from RJD chief Lalu Prasad to the Bill, Moily said that Lalu was part of the UPA I in which the measure was promised in the Common Minimum Programme.
He said the Government would take a decision on tabling the Bill before Lok Sabha breaks for recess on March 16.
The Law Minister said the Government was not aproaching the issue with any fear as Congres party has always taken bold decisions to do bold things.
"Such big changes only the Congress party can venture into," he said citing the examples of the Bill failing to pass muster during earlier attempts by the United Front Government under I K Gujral and NDA Government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee.