BSP demands seats for SCs within 33 pc quota for women

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New Delhi, May 6 (UNI) The Bahujan Samaj Party has demanded reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes within the 33 per cent quota for women, a Bill for which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha amid high drama created by its opponent Samajwadi party today.

''We have no opposition to the 33 per cent quota for women envisaged in the Bill, but want that it should earmark seats for SC/STs without disturbing the existing quota for them,'' BSP General Secretry Satish Misra told reporters here minutes before introduction of the Bill.

The BSP not only welcomed the 33 per cent quota Bill, but also sought that reservation be increased to 50 per cent as women form half of the population, he said.

The BSP Gereral Secretary said it would be unfair if reservation for SC/ST women was adjusted in the existing quota.

''We don't want quota within the existing reservation. The women resrvation Bill to be fair to the downtrodden classes should have seats reserved for them,'' he said.

In contrast to the BSP, its main rival in Uttar Pradesh Samajwadi Party reiterated its strong disapproval of the women reservation Bill, not only verbally but also physically when its members tried to prevent Law Minister Hansraj Bhardwaj from introducing the Bill in the Rajya Sabha and tore down some documents carried by him in the process.

The Samajwadi Party wants separate quota for STs, SCs and backward classes and minorities in the Bill.

The JD(U) and the RJD are also opposing the Bill in its present form.

The Bill, which was introduced on the last day of the Budget session, is proposed to be referred to a Select Committee of Parliament.

The Women's Reservation Bill was first introduced in Parliament by the Deve Gowda Government in 1996. Then the NDA Government tried to introduce it four times -- 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2003.

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