Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Congress's Efforts To Build 'Consensus' On Women Reservation Bill Fails

New Delhi, India - Congress Party's efforts to build consensus on women reservation bill failed as it's key ally in ruling United Progress Alliance made it cleared that they would not follow their's big brother's line.

The Statesman Reports:

The Congress is negotiating a possible compromise formula on the issue viz scaling down the quantum of reservation from the proposed 33 per cent to 20-25 per cent without any provision for an OBC sub-quota.

“We are in favour of sub-quota for minorities, OBCs, SC/STs and there cannot be any compromise on this vital issue,” RJD Parliamentary Party leader Mr Devendra Prasad Yadav said.

Mr Yadav, a known opponent of the reservation bill in its present form, said his party would agree to nothing short of a sub-quota.The RJD leader claimed that several parties like Samajwadi Party and the JD(U) were with his party on the issue.

While reports had it that the new formula had the backing of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress president Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Congress sources suggested that the consultations were part of “track two” efforts to arrive at a consensus on the vexed issue.Sources said the Congress has communicated its stand to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Bill, making it clear that there has been no change in its position with regard to the proposed legislation that envisages 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

On the other hand, CPI and CPI-M leaders today dismissed as “kite-flying” the reports that the Congress was trying to negotiate a political consensus on the controversial Bill by suggesting a cut in the proposed 33 per cent quota. As far as the Left parties were concerned, they are sticking to their demand for the 33 per cent quota, the leaders said.

A senior CPI leader said “We maintain our old stand. We don’t accept any dilution of the quota.”