Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar on Saturday admitted that there is variance in opinion between him and party chief Sharad Yadav on Women's Reservation Bill and called it a "difference of approach". He, however, made it clear that he does not have differences with Yadav on any other issue and said "we understand each other's position".
"I do not have differences with Sharad Yadav on any other issue except (his) approach on Women's Reservation Bill. He (Yadav) is in favour of the bill, I am also in favour of the bill. He says there should be (provision of) quota within quota, I also say so," Kumar said.
"He (Yadav) says that the bill should not be brought (for passage in Parliament) without this (provision of quota within quota), I say let the bill be passed first and the issue of quota within quota will be discussed later. So, there is only difference of approach (between us). And this is an honest difference of opinion where we understand each other's position," the JD(U) leader told reporters on the premises of Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC) here.
Kumar maintained that his opinion on the issue of giving reservation to women changed after he introduced 50 per cent quota for women from all sections of the society in panchayats in Bihar and saw its impact.
"My opinion (on the issue) has changed. I gave 50 per cent reservation to women in panchayats of Bihar. It raised awareness level among the women, gave them a sense of confidence...on the basis of this I am of the opinion that reservation (in Lok Sabha and state assemblies) be given to them first and let us make efforts for the rest of the segments later on. I am of the opinion that it would not be proper to oppose the bill," he said. Kumar hoped that government would bring the bill, which was passed in Rajya Sabha, for its passage in Lok Sabha.
"But, I don't think there is much consensus (among various parties) on this (passage of the bill in its present form)," he added. Kumar said he has appealed to his party to support the bill and also conveyed his feelings to the party president but refused to speak further on the fate of the bill. "The party will take a decision on the bill, when it will come (in Lok Sabha)," he added. PTI