New Delhi: Congress, which needs the support of both SP and BSP for passing key bills in Rajya Sabha, was on Wednesday guarded in its response as Mayawati toughened her posture over delay in taking up quota in promotion bill accusing the government of not being serious on the issue.
Party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said BSP chief Mayawati`s attack on Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari was "regrettable" and at the same time hastened to add that the issue of reservation to SC/ST in promtion in government jobs impacts one of the largest states and the concerned parties should have the opportunity to say what they want.
Chowdary also expressed the hope that BSP and SP, which are at loggerheads with each other on this issue, will "appreciate" the government`s need to pass important bills in Parliament.
"I do not think so. There are some very important bills that need to be passed and we are sure that members, who are respected colleagues, will undertand that. This (quota issue) impacts one of the largest states. They should have the opportunity to say what they want.
"But I am sure they will appreciate our problems also when we need to get some of the very important bills through and get Parliament business back on rail,," Chowdhary said when asked whether the winter session is also gone as both SP and BSP are not likely to come on the same page on the quota in promtion issue.
Government is in a bind with BSP pressing hard for the passage of the quota bill and Samajwadi Party vehemently opposing it. Government needs the support of both the parties to ensure the passage of crucial bills.
To a question why the government can`t find a solution to
the issue as it had done in the case of FDI in multi-brand retail, Chowdhary said the issues are "completely different" from each other.
"I do not think the two issues are same. I do not think you can compare them. FDI is a completely different economic issue that impacts the fiscal situation.
"This (quota in promotion) is an emotive issue which will impact on a different level. I don`t think we should mix up the two issues and say that we should have applied or apply the same yardstick," Chowdhary said.
Asked why Congress is not clearly spelling out its stand and trying to get others on board on it, she said it was "not for us to wrongfully influence anyone by saying what we want first".
"Being in the ruling combine, it is our collective responsibility to get a genuine and fair opinion of every one. It`s not for us to spell out our stand and then tell people you agree or disagree. We cannot do that.
"We can`t randomly announce our leaning and say the rest will fall in line....This issue is far more complex than what we think," Chowdhary said.
To a question on whether Congress would seek the
suspension of agitating SP MPs on the same line as was done with regard to Congress MPs from Telangana sometime ago, Chowdhary said "we can take the liberties what to do with only our members".
She said suspending any member from the House is a decision for the Presiding Officer of the House to take "but we cannot direct the Chair that he or she should do what we think is right or wrong. That is not fair. You should leave that to the dignity of the Chair".
The Congress spokesperson said her party alone cannot decide the quota issue and it is for other parties also to cooperate for taking up the particular bill.
"We cannot blame the Chairman. We should examine our conduct," was her response when asked how she views Mayawati targetting Ansari over the issue.