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
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
"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