Women's Bill, a plot against BC leadership, says SP

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, DEC. 23. The Samajwadi Party (SP) president, Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, today said he would continue to oppose the Women's Reservation Bill in its present form, while insisting that his party was not against qouta for women per se.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Yadav said he favoured an Election Commission notification making it mandatory for parties to provide 10 per cent reservation for women in the nominations.

The Bill providing for 33 per cent constituencies for women was a conspiracy against the leadership of backward classes. Any reservation for women must provide for representation for backward classes, farmers and minorities, he said.

Claiming that the Bill would destroy the relationship between the representatives and the people, he said it was now quite possible to reserve a constituency represented by him or any other political leader, for women. Male representatives might neglect their constituencies if they thought that these would be reserved for women in the next election. ``We welcome reservation for women, but it should not be at the cost of men'', he said.

Even as per the formula suggested by him, it would not be possible for women to contest 100 per cent of the seats. Scheduled Castes (SC) had already been given 22 per cent reservation (according to their population), and another 33 per cent for women would leave only 45 per cent for others.

When it was pointed out that reservation for the SC women was from within the quota for the SC, Mr. Yadav said the SC leaders were now demanding separate reservation for women (outside the SC quota).

The SP leader reiterated his commitment to build a ``third force'' that would be equidistant from both the Congress and the BJP.

In Tamil Nadu, while the DMK had allied with the BJP, the AIADMK had aligned with the Congress. As such, the SP would not strike an alliance with these parties, he said.

On the Ayodhya issue, he said there could be only two solutions, one arrived at by representatives of both the communities and the other as directed by court.

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