Speaker meets parties on womens reservation – SP and RJD unmoved

New Delhi: Yet another effort by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to reach a consensus on the Women`s Reservation Bill did not yield results with parties like SP, RJD and BSP sticking to their stand by opposing the legislation in its present form.

After attending a meeting called by the Speaker on Thursday, SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav dubbed the bill in its present form as a "conspiracy" to end the leadership of parties which have emerged from the rural background and from amongst the poor and backward.

"We are not against women`s reservation. But we are against the Women`s Reservation Bill in its present form. It is a conspiracy to wipe out the leadership which has emerged from villages and from amongst backwards and poor," Mulayam Singh told reporters after the meeting.

After an all-party meeting on the same issue last month, Kumar today convened a meeting of smaller parties and also invited SP and BSP who had stayed away from the previous exercise.

"We want quota within quota. We want women from Muslim and Dalit communities to benefit from the legislation. While Mulayam Singh and I are dubbed as anti-women`s reservation, the fact is that we would like women from such communities to get 60 per cent reservation. But the question is whether others will agree," Prasad said.

Like Mulayam Singh, he too dubbed the bill in its present form as a "conspiracy" and said while the Speaker took the initiative to call the meeting, the effort should have been made by the government.

BSP leader Dara Singh Chauhan is reported to have opposed the bill in its present form at the meeting.