UPA loses comfort of extra nos in LS
Quota Bill Gets Elders' Nod, 7 MPs Ejected
HOW THINGS FELL
SONIA FA OR Cong chief pushes bill at Monday evening core group and again on Tuesday. Speaks to Mulayam and Lalu in LS. Meets PM in the afternoon to press the case
YADAV TALK Mulayam and Lalu Prasad meet PM at 9.30am, neither has anything new to offer. Yadavs decide to continue RS blockade
ALLI FO CES PM meets BJP, Left and supporting parties at lOam. Makes it clear that the govt wants to press ahead with the bill in RS
DECKS CLEARED Strategy meeting at finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's,office around noon decides to seek vote even amid bedlam after suspension of dissenters
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Nitish may floaJ his
The way things are going in I the JD(U), Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar may break away and form his own party in the run-up to the assembly elections in the state. That he really controls the party was apparent when five JD(U) members defied party chief 5harad Yadav and voted for the women's bill. His differences with Yadav is expected to erupt into a fullblown division during voting in the lower House. TNN P 16
New Delhi: The government's decision to press ahead with the women's quota bill in the teeth of opposition from the RJD and SP and the murmurs of protest from Muslim leaders has hastened a realignment of forces and reduced the UPKs numerical comfort in Lok Sabha.
The, Congress taking up the women's bill as top priority has precipitated the distancing of the SP and RJD which otherwise may have taken a little longer. While it is still not clear if the two Yadav chieftains would go the distance in separating themselves from the bigg~st "secular" player, there are indications that the scene may change dramatically from what it was after the LS results in May 2009, The direction of the shift
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New Delhi: After a day of high drama that saw the Rajya Sabha swarm with more than a hundred marshals in blue dresses called in to bundle out seven MPs blocking proceedings, the House recorded a historic vote in favour of a bill providing for 33 % reservation for women in Parliament and assemblies.
The legislation is likely to be brought to the Lok Sabha after the vote on account has been passed, with the Congress leadership showing that it was not deterred by the bigger strength of the quota opponents in the lower House. It has to be brought to the Lok Sabha, as a logical corollary, said party chief Sonia Gandhi as she refused to get into the specifics of the likely timetable, The vote had been vehemently stalled by antiwomen's quota protestors in Rajya Sabha throughout Monday while the government calculated the political fallout of all-out hostility with SP and RID leaders Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad. While the government dithered, the handful of dissenters held the House to ransom, On Tuesday, the mood was different. Armed with Sonia Gandhi's directions, the government wlilS ready to seek suspension of the dissenting MPs. After a four-hour debate, the House recorded a thumping 186 votes in favour of the WOlllt I'
Cong 208; NCP 9; DMK 18;
TMC 19; NC 3; JD(5) 3;
Muslim League 2; 5ikkim Democratic Front 1;
MIM 1; Bodoland People's Front 1; Nagaland People's Front 1; Jharkahand Vikas Morcha 1; Kerala Cong 1
in political faultlines may be a confrontation forced by the OBC leaders on the Congress with an aggressive minority politics last seen during the nuclear deal-IAEA vote-Danish cartoons in North India,
~Floor mgmt a challenge, P 16
THE HOLDOUTS Anti-bill MPs refuse to leave RS even after being suspended and force another break at 2pm
ACTION BEGINS At 3.lSpm;
chairman Hamid Ansari calls
Finance bill likely to be tabled first
WIth RJD, SP withdrawing support, Cong will be more vulnerable to allies, small groups and BSP. It will need to be wary of trust motions, and need to plan for every major bill
Determined and ready to gamble, Sonia led the way
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What Next The bill must be taken to LS, where the task is much tougher. Mulayam and Lalu will lead 0 osition.
New Delhi: Barely had the wOIhen's reservation bill cleared the Rajya Sabha than Sonia Gandhi made it clear that
New Delhi: Just an hour before the Rajya Sabha passed the historic women's reservation bill, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was passing through Parliament's Central Hall when she found her way blocked by a group of journalists talking to Sharad Yadav. "Yehan to kam se kamjaane dijiye," Sonia told the JD(U) leader, the third member of the Yadav troika which so desperately tried to block the legislation.
Her smile and polite gentleness completely masked the steely resolve that the Congress chief has shown since Monday to insist that the government must get the women's bill
the Swatantra Paksh Party, voting against it.
Before the discussion which saw MPs rising to the occasion with only a few partisanjabs, the government prepared for the ill!y on a war footing after having cut an indecisive figure on Monday. The mood was set at the Congress core group's meeting after the RS concluded its disrupted proceedings where Sonia Gandhi made it clear that the women's bill could not be abandoned. Government managers had been held back in moving for strong action against the protestors due to concern over the political fallout of snapping ties with Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad and the resultant reduction in the buffer of the 32
~Congress took note of SP, RJD's drift, P 16
I hope Lalu and' Mulayam won't withdraw support.
I'm sure Mamata will understand, Sonia Gandhi tells TIMES NOW: P 15
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wc.t.::t ut::.l UCI..t:.l u:a..lllat.lOn UllU ~ctW me Congress bitethe bullet and take the battle to the opposition camp.
This was a new Sonia. Determined and combative, ready to gamble on a big-ticket Political move and not afraid-if push came to shove-to draw a distinction between the party's destiny and that of the government. This was apparent to her colleagues when she discussed the issue with PM Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee at a meeting of the party's core group on Monday after the Congress ducked the fight with the opponents of the bill.
~ 'In politics there are risks', P 15
wa" a remln<1er that the aetractors should not expect any respite just because they have raised the pitch on minorities andOBCs.
The historic bill carving out 33 %. quota for women in Parliament and state legislatures will come to the Lok Sabha for discussion and voting, and then half of the states will have to adopt a res' 'olution favouring the bill. It will be followed by the President's assent, making it a reality. The Centre will have to move another legislation for delimitation of one-third of
nap pen DeTore L~ recess
After Parliament clears it. law must be ratified by at least 14 of 28 state assemblies. The process may take at least a year, followed by delimitation
seats in legislatures to be reserved for women.
The issue is when will the government bring the bill to the LS. Sources said the Centre was keen on getting the vote-on-account cleared this week before it applies its mind on the women's bill.
~LS may prove tricky, P 16