Lucknow, Dec 15: Even as lakhs of government employees continued their strike for the third consecutive day in protest against the proposed legislation on reservation for SC/STs in promotion, Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav warned the UPA that he may well withdraw support to it if the "anti-national" bill is passed by Parliament.
"If voting is done on the bill in the House, I will reconsider my party's support to the government," he said. The SP has extended outside suppport to the central government that has been in a minority ever since the Trinamool Congress quit the ruling coalition over issues such as the cap on LPG supply and FDI in multi-brand retail.
Addressing newspersons in Mainpuri today, Mulayam said that he had urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reveal "the facts about the posts that will be captured" by the SC/STs due to quota in promotion. "For just 22 per cent people, rest of the population including general candidates, backward castes and other communities will suffer immensely creating problem in society," Mulayam stressed.
He averred that "no Prime Minister will get a cabinet secretary nor any chief minister will get chief secretary of any other caste" once the legislation is passed. "The bill is anti-national and will divide the people. My party has opposed the bill inside and outside the House and will continue its opposition," the SP supremo asserted. He decried the suspension of his party's MPs for opposing the "anti-people" bill.
It is noteworthy that Mayawati who leads the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has been pressing for the passage of the bill in both Houses. She even went to the extent of accusing Vice President Hamid Ansari of abdicating his responsibilty as Rajya Sabha chairman when members of the Upper House frequently disrupt its proceedings.
Unnerved by what Mayawati's trenchant criticism of the repeated adjournments, the government finally introduced the bill despite Mulayam clearly expressing his displeasure. The UPA was mindful of the fact that BSP's 22 MPs are vital to the government's survival. Incidentally, Mulayam's party has 21 MPs in all.