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I have little doubt that it will go through the Lok Sabha as well as these important issues are never determined by numbers but by sentiment behind the legislation.
The BSP has done little better. But it is the Trinamool Congress's attitude towards the Bill that has been most disappointing. The party's stand on the issue shows that its only aim is to defeat the Left in West Bengal.
It does not have any long-term vision and hence could prove to be a liability to the Government. The legislation may take a decade to be fully operational, but it is a step in the right direction.
It is a good thing if there is debate and discussion on the intricacies of the Bill. But it cannot be denied that with the tabling of the Women's Reservation Bill and its passage through the Rajya Sabha, history has been created. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also needs to be commended for being gracious and thanking the Opposition for their support of the Bill.
Every major political act cannot be viewed in isolation and, as I have written on several occasions, the trends of the future will emerge well before If we look at the larger picture then the Congress under Ms Sonia Gandhi has continued to gain.
And with an acceptable succession plan in place, the party van be said to be in a strong position. Meanwhile, the BJP is showing signs of consolidation as an effective Opposition under new party president Nitin Gadkari.
Regional forces have a difficult choice but there may still be space for a Third Front in Indian politics. The Left, on the other hand, is looking at a bleak future and this is because it continues to cling to an ideology which has little relevance in this day and age.
The Leftists have learnt little from the Communist movement in China and Russia and the economic reforms they have initiated. This is the main reason behind their opposition to the Women's Reservation Bill and their sudden pro-minority fervour.
The battle for the Women's Reservation Bill will now move to the Lok Sabha and in theory there is a tricky situation developing with the SP and the RJD seriously contemplating withdrawing support to the Government and the BSP threatening to follow suit.
They will try and bargain for a settlement. Meanwhile, the BJP and the Left's support cannot be taken for granted either.
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But there is little doubt that Ms Sonia Gandhi and the Congress have created a favorable public image for themselves by calling the bluff of the Mandal brigade. Nonetheless, the Rajya Sabha episode exposed poor co-ordination on part of the Congress, both with its allies and the Opposition.
There are far too many political accidents taking place and complacency or arrogance in politics comes with a heavy cost.
The political reality is that the Congress's tally of seats can well extend to the magic figure of The BJP, with some internal stability creeping in, can also protect its share of seats.
It would make political sense for them to form a single political front with the Left as they held close to seats in the Lok Sabha in Though this figure has significantly come down, things can get much worse if they don't come together. The BSP has literally been static and has made little progress in the States.
It may well consider local combinations to add to its vote percentage.After long oppression by northern Arab Muslims, most southerners, who are black and mostly non-Muslim, want to secede.
The deal should give them that option, after a referendum in Jan 30, · Bloomberg Businessweek - January 30, - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free.
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