Fissures in BJP: Jaswant, Katiyar Off-note

New Delhi
Fissures in BJP: Jaswant, Katiyar Off-note
In defiance of a party line and directive, BJP General Secretary Vinay Katiyar today opposed women's reservation bill in its present form, drawing flak from the party.

"If this bill is passed in its present form then the unity and integrity of the country will be affected. It will create a big problem," Katiyar told reporters today, less than 24 hours after senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu said last night that leaders, however big they may be, should not discuss internal issues with the media.

Katiyar maintained his position that no party should issue a whip to its MPs when the bill is put to vote.

"No whip should be issued and the MPs should be allowed to vote on the women's bill according to their conscience," he said.

The BJP was quick to react to Katiyar's statement.

"The party has already directed that issues be raised within party forum", BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters.

"There is no scope of compromise on the issue. BJP has requested the government to present the bill on 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and get it passed," he said.

Rudy said BJP had already implemented 33 per cent reservation for women in party's organisation and did not anticipate any dilution on it from any side.

"We have made our stand clear in our manifesto and conveyed our stand to the government on various fora," he said.

Other than Katiyar, senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh had expressed his differences with the party saying it lacked co-ordination among the top-rung leaders.

Rudy said all issues being raised by party leaders are for the BJP's good but these should not be discussed with the media.

"Usually when any issue comes up before the party, it is discussed within the party," he said.

When asked specifically about Jaswant Singh going to press with his views, Rudy said, "It is an internal issue of our party. The problem is such things come out in the open before the media. All leaders are discussing various issues and I don't think the matter is of any importance."

"No discussion is against the party. The leaders are discussing issues for the betterment of the party," he added.

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