JD-U stands divided over quota bill

New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) The divide in the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) over the women’s quota bill came to the fore Tuesday with party members in the Rajya Sabha supporting the legislation against the stand of party president Sharad Yadav.

JD-U member Shivanand Tiwari said during the debate in the house on the bill that the party supported the legislation that seeks to reserve 33 percent seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

‘We support the bill,’ he said.

The stand was in contrast to the fierce opposition to the bill by party MPs led by Sharad Yadav in the Lok Sabha. The constitution amendment bill is yet to be debated in the Lok Sabha.

Tiwari said the party has always supported the demand for reservation for women belonging to minorities and backward classes within the 33 percent quota.

Tiwari said that Nitish Kumar government in Bihar had provided 50 percent reservation to women in local bodies and several state governments had emulated the example.

JD-U has seven members in the Rajya Sabha but one of the members Ejaz Ali had been suspended by the party in October last year.

Ali was among the members who stormed the chairman’s podium Monday while protesting against the bill and was suspended from the house for the session Tuesday along with six other members belonging to Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).

The divide in the JD-U became evident after Nitish Kumar came out in support of the bill.

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