BJP denies reports of friction over Women's Reservation Bill

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New Delhi, Mar 11 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday denied all reports of friction within the party over the Women's Reservation Bill.

BJP leaders opposing the Bill had reportedly asked their party leadership that no whip should be issued to vote in favour of the Bill, as it may be defied.

Slamming reports of a split, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said that the party members would do what the party decrees.

"There is no friction within the party. Those leaders, whose names came out in the newspaper today, even they have clarified their stand and said that there is no such thing, neither they are opposing. These are rumours and we do not want to comment," Prakash Javadekar.

"The BJP members work on what the party decides and there is no question of any friction. These all are rumours," added Javadekar.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Hukum Dev Narain said they are not completely against the Bill but want only a few amendments.

"We are in favour of this Women's Reservation Bill in its present form but we demand that in Rajya Sabha and in upper houses of the state legislatures, seats should be reserved for STs and SCs and for women, also," said Narain.

"In Rajya Sabha and upper house of state legislatures, where members are chosen through indirect voting, there should also be reservation. Why only in the Lok Sabha and lower house of state legislatures, where people are elected directly? It should be equal everywhere, then only it would be good," he added.

The Central Government is unlikely to put it to vote in the Lok Sabha before the crucial finance bill (Budget) is out of the way, which could be around the third week of April.

History was created in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday when it voted by an overwhelming majority a Bill to reserve one-third of seats in Lok Sabha and Assemblies for women after government pushed ahead with it, ignoring possible threats to its stability and after eviction of troublesome MPs opposed to it.

Fourteen years after the first attempt was made in the Lok Sabha and repeated failures subsequently, the Constitution amendment bill was adopted in the mandatory division with 186 members voting for it and one voting against.

In the 245-member House with an effective strength of 233, the bill required the backing of at least 155 members and the UPA had the clear support of 165 in the run up to the event.

The bill seeks to reserve for women 181 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha and 1,370 out of a total of 4,109 seats in the 28 State Assemblies. (ANI)

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