As the Centre's plans to bring up the Women's Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha on March 8, a confrontation with the legislation's critics — the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal — loomed large.
Indications of a confronation came when RJD chief Lalu Prasad threatened “war” against the government over the Bill while SP supremo Mulayam Singh said his party would oppose tooth and nail the Bill and warned of an “uproar” in Parliament.
“Yuddha hoga” [There will be war], declared Mr. Prasad interjecting in the discussion in the Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks to the President for her address.
The SP and the RJD are opposed to the Bill in its present form and want a quota within quota for women from the backward classes.
“At the most what you can do is to throw us out [of the House] and cancel our membership,” Mr. Singh said, giving ample hints that those opposed to the measure in its present form would not take lying down attempts to pass it without amendments.
The plan to push the Bill quickly in Parliament after it was cleared by the Union Cabinet a week ago comes amid speculation that the move is aimed at dividing the Opposition parties which has closed ranks to attack the government on price rise issue.