New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav, Janata Dal-United’s Sharad Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Lalu Prasad Tuesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the women’s reservation bill and asked for an all-party meeting to evolve consensus on the contentious legislation.
‘We asked him to call for an all party meeting,’ Lalu Prasad told reporters after the meeting at the prime minister’s residence.
‘We went to meet the prime minister and thanked him for inviting us. We told him that we were not opposed to the women’s reservation bill. We want that Muslim women, women of backward classes and Dalit women should have reservation- you can decide what percentage that should be.’
Stating that it was no small issue, he said: ‘History is being made here. Therefore there should be an all party meeting called so that there could be a discussion and our voices can be heard.’
Violent protests by the parties had Monday blocked voting on the constitutional amendment bill, promising 33 percent reservation to women in parliament and state legislatures, in the Rajya Sabha.
On Monday, the RJD and the SP announced that they had decided to withdraw support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over differences on the bill.
‘We have decided to pull out. We are withdrawing the support given to the government from outside,’ Lalu Prasad had said outside parliament after an uproar in the two houses.
The SP with 22 seats and the RJD with four seats lend outside support to the Congress-led government along with the Bahujan Samaj Party (21), the Janata Dal-Secular (three) and the Assam United Democratic Front (one).
The BSP is also opposing the bill in its present form.