JD(U) today joined BJP ally Apna Dal in demanding a sub quota for SCs/STs and OBCs in the proposed 33% reservation for women in Parliament and Assemblies as the issue is back in focus with NDA government pledging to ensure passage of the women reservation bill. "JD(U) fully supports the statement of BJP ally Apna Dal's MP Anupriya Patel in which she had made a demand for a separate quota for OBC," party general K C Tyagi said in a statement.
He said the demand that the bill for 33 per cent reservation to women, which is being brought, should have OBC and SC/ST sub quotas in it is justified His remarks came after Apna Dal MP Anupriya Patel said in a newspaper interview that her party is in favour of separate sub quota for OBCs and SCs/STs in the bill that is being brought to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in Parliament and Assemblies. Patel is an MP from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh and her party Apna Dal was an alliance partner of BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.
While the bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha in March 2010 amid pandemonium after the use of marshals to evict the protesting MPs, it could not see light of the day in Lok Sabha. It lapsed following dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha. The BJP-led NDA government affirmed its commitment to the Bill in President Pranab Mukherjee's address to the joint sitting of Parliament on June 9.
Talking to PTI, Tyagi said Anupriya Patel's demand shows that even the NDA is not unanimous on the issue. "In the past also, BJP leader Uma Bharti had supported such a demand while BJP leader Gopinath Munde had also demanded quota within quota on the floor of Lok Sabha." He said BSP chief Mayawati, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and others have also made similar demands in past. "Government should pay heed to them."
Interestingly, the JD(U) had supported the UPA in ensuring passage of the the bill in Rajya Sabha in 2010.
While JD (U) President Sharad Yadav had his reservations, the party backed it as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had taken a stand to support the bill.
Seeking to explain the contradiction, Tyagi said that JD(U) had then supported the bill brought by UPA in Rajya Sabha on the assurance that the concerns and needs of the deprived sections will be included.