Accusing the government of trying to to bulldoze the Women's Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha, UPA ally Trinamool Congress on Tuesday said its members will not participate in the voting as it was not intimated about it.
Union Minister of State for Health Dinesh Trivedi and Trinamool's Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay told reporters outside Parliament that the two members from their party were not present in the Rajya Sabha as they had no idea that the Bill would come up for voting today.
"The way the women's reservation bill was brought up for voting in the Rajya Sabha today, we are shocked to see the procedure adopted on the floor of the House," Bandopadhyay said in New Delhi.
"We don't want to see that the parliamentary democracy is being more or less bulldozed. We are opposed to the manner in which the Bill was taken up for voting. Any forcible attempt to get the Bill pass cannot be supported. Today, we are not going to take part (in the voting) in the Rajya Sabha," he said referring to the use of marshals to evict members opposed to the Bill in its present form.
Making it clear that Trinamool Congress, the second largest party in UPA, was not opposed to the bill, Trivedi said the party had conveyed to the government that it was "opposed to any kind of force" because in democracy "consensus and discussion" were important. "Our party members in the Rajya Sabha were not intimated about the voting. No discussion took place with Trinamool Congress about voting," he added.
Trivedi said Trinamool wanted the government to consider the issues concerning the Dalits, OBCs and Muslims that were raised by members in the Rajya Sabha, noting that his party chief Mamata Banerjee too had written to the government on these concerns.
"Our party chief wanted the views of the Dalits, OBCs and Muslims to be taken on board. But unfortunately that did not happen. Trinamool Congress is for debate and discussion," he said.
However, he said his party condemned the behaviour of members from the SP, RJD, SJP and others (who were suspended today due to unruly behaviour in the Rajya Sabha yesterday) and that it was not in favour of any "indiscipline" in the House.
The two Trinamool Congress leaders also slammed the Congress for "heeding to the machinations of the Left and the BJP" on the Women's Reservation Bill and said they would "not support" such a development.
"The BJP and Left parties are hobnobbing now. 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," they added. PTI