Shiv Sena says that the support extended to the Bill was conditional and now the party would oppose it in the Lok Sabha

Even as the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Samajwadi Party and the Janata Dal(United) chalked out a joint strategy to block the Women's Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha, the Shiv Sena too joined the bandwagon.

Sena leader Anant Geete attacked the manner in which seven Rajya Sabha members were suspended and marshalled out. He pointed out that the support extended to the Bill was conditional and now the party would oppose it in the Lok Sabha.

RJD vice-president Raghuvansh Prasad told journalists here on Wednesday that the objective was to rope in as many parties and individuals as possible so as to ensure that those supporting the Bill fell short of the two-third majority in the Lok Sabha as and when it was put to vote. He anticipated the support of about 80 members, including the BSP.

The RJD, JD(U) and SP make it a point to underscore that some BJP members had also shouted slogans that they would not commit suicide by favouring the Bill but would rather go down as martyrs opposing it.

They are desperately trying to get the BSP to join hands with them, even knowing its antipathy for the SP. They are banking on the fact that the BSP too wants a sub-quota in the Bill. Similarly, they are hoping to cash in on Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's anger at not being consulted on putting the Bill to vote in the Rajya Sabha.

To rub in the point, RJD MP Jabir Hussain criticised Congress president Sonia Gandhi for referring to Ms. Banerjee's reaction and approval for the Bill in the Cabinet. “The secrecy attached to Cabinet proceedings has been breached and it appears that somebody has passed the information on to Ms. Gandhi,” he said.

As for opposing the Bill in the Lok Sabha, the troika seemed to hold the same view – to resist it to the bitter end. “I'm ready to be thrown out, let them call the CRPF. I'll not compromise on my conviction,” said JD(U) chief whip Mangni Lal Mandal.

The objective behind the move was to revive “a kind of Mandal movement,” said Mr. Hussain much as Bihar was heading for the General Assembly elections later in the year

More In: National | News