Undeterred by the criticism of his “whistle” remark in reference to the Women's Reservation Bill, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh said on Thursday that his comment was intentional and not just a slip of the tongue. He wanted to initiate a debate among the poor, farmers and the worker class on the negative aspects of the Bill.
Mr. Singh announced that his party would corner the UPA government and gherao Parliament in protest against the Bill. The date of the programme would be announced later.
“My words would provide a food for thought to the farmers, poor and the workers”, Mr. Singh said while addressing a meeting of MPs, MLAs and party office-bearers at the party headquarters here.
Mr. Singh clarified that he did not intend to insult anyone, especially women, given the fact that the maximum tickets to women have been given by the Samajwadi Party in the elections and maximum women candidates have won.
Describing the Bahujan Samaj Party, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party outcry as propaganda, the SP president said those who were criticising him were the same people who opposed him on the Mandal Commission report when he favoured its implementation. Stating that he was unfazed by the criticism, Mr. Singh said he wanted a debate on the issue of women's reservation in Parliament.
Mr. Singh reiterated that if the Bill was passed in its present form, women hailing from poor, farmers and labour class would be unable to enter Parliament and State Assemblies. This held true of Dalit, OBC and Muslim women also.