JD(U) not to issue whip on women`s quota bill
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Last Updated: Sunday, March 07, 2010, 23:37
New Delhi: Opposition JD(U), divided over extending support to the Women's Reservation Bill, Sunday decided not to issue a whip to its MPs, giving a boost to Government's efforts to enlist maximum support for the landmark measure.

The decision by the key BJP ally is also being seen as an attempt to provide flexibility to JD(U)chief Sharad Yadav who is opposing the bill in its present form after senior party colleague and Bihar Chief Minister openly voiced support for the legislation. BJP has already decided to support the Bill.

"We will not issue a whip on the Women's Bill," party Chief Whip in Rajya Sabha Ali Anwar told PTI. JD(U) has seven MPs in Rajya Sabha and 20 in Lok Sabha.

Party leaders, who refused to go on record, said the move was aimed at giving Yadav option to oppose the bill if he so desired. "He is a senior member and had been opposing the bill in its present form. If there is no whip, he can oppose the bill without attracting disciplinery action," they said.

Asked why the party has not issued a whip on the matter, Anwar said it was not necessary to always issue whip "to force MPs".

"Just because BJP and Congress have issued whip, it does not mean that we should also do the same."

JD(U) leaders said the MPs will not abstain from voting. "It will be either this way or that way," they said.

The party has called a meeting of all its MPs tomorrow to formulate a final view on the issue.

Party leaders in private, however, dropped broad hints that it might support the Bill, indications to which were given by Nitish Kumar Saturday when he said that now time has come to provide reservation to women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.


First Published: Sunday, March 07, 2010, 23:37

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