George slams SP's 'disgraceful' stand on Women's Reservation

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New Delhi, May 9 (UNI) NDA convenor and former Union minister George Fernandes today slammed fellow Lohiaite Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party for its ''disgraceful'' behaviour in the Rajya Sabha when the Women's Reservation Bill was presented.

''These people speak of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia...Dr Lohia, as did Mahatma Gandhi, always gave women a prime place and treated them as equals,'' he lamented adding that ''now who call themselves Samajwadis put up buildings and raise funds in the name of these leaders but treat women as inferior to men.'' He also expressed ''shock'' at the stand taken by some male MPs against the Bill.

The former Defence minister appealed to his colleagues to let good sense prevail and allow the Bill to be passed ''so that women are given what is due to them, without giving specious excuses to block its passage.'' Interestingly, besides using the phrases 'Samajwadis' and 'socialists', the former Union minister did not specifically name the Samajwadi Party or its leaders.

The statement of Mr Fernandes has put a question mark on the growing proximity between the two. The two have often supported each other on various issues at public fora.

UNI NAB SLD KN1736

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