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Women's Bill: Trinamool slams govt for 'not trusting ally'

Source: PTI
March 09, 2010 20:46 IST
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Upset over the 'manner' in which the government got the Women's Reservation Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha, an angry Trinamool Congress on Tuesday accused it of buckling under Left pressure and not trusting its own ally.

"We were not consulted on the issue. We are a major ally of the government and you have to trust your own ally," Trinamool chief and Railway Minister Banerjee told mediapersons in New Delhi.

"The CPI-M was taken into confidence but not the Trinamool Congress," she said. While two members of the Trinamool Congress in Rajya Sabha -- Mukul Roy and Swapan Sadhan Bose -- did not participate in the voting on the women's bill, the party did not clarify what stand it would take when the legislation came up for vote in the Lok Sabha.

"We are shocked by the way in which the decision to have voting on the bill was taken forcibly. It is improper," the party's chief whip in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay told PTI.

He said the all-party meeting on Monday had decided that the issue would be 'deferred for the time being' and there was no decision on going in for voting on the bill.

"But suddenly there was pressure from the CPI-M and the government decided to have voting on the issue today itself. We were not even informed. So, without taking into confidence the second largest party (TC) in the United Progressive Alliance, government bowed to pressures from the CPI-M which had toppled the UPA-I government," Bandopadhyay said.

Refusing to comment on the stand Trinamool would take in the Lower House, Bandopadhyay said, "We will take a call when the time comes."

Voting was held in Rajya Sabha 'which will not be affected by the one-third quota for women,' he said, adding that the CPI-M members in Rajya Sabha 'should explain why they are fooling the people as they will not have any women's quota in the Upper House.'

The Left parties should also explain why they were 'hobnobbing with the BJP,' Bandopadhyay said.

Meanwhile, Mamata met a delegation of Muslim organisations who appealed to her to persuade the government to bring quota for minorities within quota in the bill.

"The sentiments of minorities should be incorporated in the bill. As a political party and a major partner of the UPA, we have given and will again present our observations in this regard to the government", he said, adding 'we don't want to see parliamentary democracy being bulldozed. Any forcible attempt to get the Bill pass cannot be supported. Today, we are not going to take part (in the voting) in Rajya Sabha.'

The Trinamool Congress leader also slammed the Congress for 'heeding to the machinations of the Left and the BJP' and alleged that 'a section of the government is dancing to their tunes.'

"The government should talk to its allies and not keep them in the dark. There should be no communication gap," he added.

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