New Delhi: Showing no signs of relenting on the Women’s Reservation Bill in its present form, the Yadav trio on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to defer the measure and call an all-party meeting to evolve a consensus.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav met the Prime Minister at his official Race Course road residence on Tuesday morning, a day after the bill was stalled in the Rajya Sabha which witnessed unprecedented pandemonium.
“We have asked the Prime Minister to defer the Bill. We have also requested him to call an all-party meeting on the issue. He listened to us patiently,” Prasad told reporters after the 45-minute meeting.
He maintained that his party is not against the reservation for women but only wants the “real needy women” of the society to be represented through it.
Sharad Yadav, in whose JD(U) there are sharp divisions on the Bill with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar coming out in its support, said they had apprised Singh of their apprehensions if the Bill providing for 33% reservation of seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies was passed in its present form.
“We expressed our views, our pain particularly for Muslim, backward and dalit women. These communities comprise 80% of the population. We thank him for inviting us,” he said.
The three leaders refused to answer a question on whether Singh had given any assurance to them on their demand.
Meanwhile, the government said it would hold a discussion on the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha and not bulldoze the passage of the evolutionary measure involving amendment of the Constitution.
“A Constitution amendment Bill of this dimension is evolutionary in nature and (the government) does not want to just bulldoze it. It is not just to by-pass a discussion,” law minister M Veerappa Moily told reporters here.
“Tomorrow, after 50 years someone will question that such an important Bill was passed without a discussion, without a dialogue. We never wanted to be intolerant about it. There are people who opposed it... that was a national shame,” the minister said.