They were together in the time of crisis. RJD chief Lalu Prasad and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav were seated together in the Central Hall of Parliament glued to a TV set on Tuesday afternoon.

They were watching the process of discussion and voting on the Women’s Reservation Bill when it began in the Rajya Sabha.

Several Union Ministers and MPs from the Lok Sabha and former members were with them.

The two prominent opponents of the measure were in the belief that the Congress-led coalition had developed cold feet and was having second thoughts following their threats. The development of the government going in for the Bill in the Upper House appeared to have come as a bolt from the blue.

As against this, Congress president Sonia Gandhi was jubilant as she left for 10 Janpath soon after the discussion began.

“Let it get passed here (Rajya Sabha) first. I am keeping my fingers crossed,” she said, declining to specify when the coalition plans to bring the Bill in the Lok Sabha.

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