SP's opposition to quota bill comes to BJP's rescue
New Delhi: Samajwadi Party's strong and "violent" opposition to the bill providing quota in promotion for SC/ST may come to the rescue of the BJP in Lok Sabha where several of its MPs are reportedly threatening to oppose the proposed legislation.
Though the government has said it will bring the Reservation in Promotion for SC/ST Bill in Lok Sabha, SP has made it clear that it will oppose the move vociferously. SP member Yashvir Singh today snatched the bill from Union Minister V Narayansamy when he was introducing it in Lok Sabha.
The House witnessed high drama when UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi intervened and tried to retrieve the copy from Singh who threw it at his party colleague Neeraj Shekhar.
BJP leaders, preferring anonymity, said the House will not function tomorrow as well as Congress and SP will be at loggerheads. This may be a face saver for BJP as its MPs are uneasy about passage of the bill.
There are growing voices of dissent within BJP, especially among its Lok Sabha MPs, over the measure as they feel it will harm their electoral prospects. Since Congress and BJP are national parties and have been speaking strongly about social justice, they cannot go openly against the bill.
"Not just in BJP but also in Congress there are several MPs who are opposed to the bill," a BJP leader said, adding that within his party, the main opposition to the legislation is from MPs belonging to Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Some of the MPs had spoken against supporting the measure during the Parliamentary Party meeting this Tuesday.
This scenario is similar to the opposition within BJP to the Women's Reservation Bill. While it was passed in Rajya Sabha, the bill was stalled in Lok Sabha by SP and some other parties which bank on OBC support.
BJP was saved then too as its Lok Sabha MPs did not have to take a stand. At that time also there were fears that some members may speak against the party diktat. SP may once again inadvertently bail out BJP this time too.