Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Women's Reservation Bill in Lok Sabha next week

Women's Reservation Bill may be tabled in the Lok Sabha next week, but a final decision on it will be taken by the Business Advisory Committee which meets on Friday.

Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told reporters that the bill could be tabled on March 15 or 16. He expressed confidence that the bill that provides for 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies would have a smooth sailing in the Lower House of Parliament too. The bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha yesterday with overwhelming majority.Mr Moily said the government has some other agenda like the Finance bill and some legislations to replace ordinances that are needed to be taken up urgently.

Women's Reservation Bill has rocked both Houses of Parliament for third day today. In the Lok Sabha, the RJD, LJP, JDU and SP members demanded revocation of the suspension of the seven members from the Upper House. After repeated adjournments on the issue, the speaker Mrs Meira Kumar adjourned the House for the day.

Today in Rajya Sabha, RJD and SP members staged a walkout making a similar demand. The leader of Opposition in the House Mr Arun Jaitley and senior CPIM leader Mr Sitaram Yechury supported their demand of revoking the suspension orders. Some members from treasury benches insisted that the suspended members should tender an apology.

UPA allies SP and RJD today showed no no signs of withdrawing support to the government. They also made it clear that there are no plans to table any no-confidence motion.In a related development, the Congress today expressed hope that ally Trinamool Congress leader and Railway Minister Ms Mamta Banerjee will reconsider her stand on the Women's Reservation Bill.

Briefing Media persons in New Delhi, party spokesperson Manish Tewari said that Ms Banerjee is a respected woman leader of the nation and she should see the issue from a broader perspective. Describing the bill as a fulfillment of Congress's commitment towards empowerment of women, Mr Tewari thanked all opposition parties which supported the Bill.

BJP, on the other hand demanded introduction of the Bill in the Lok Sabha in the current session. Briefing reporters in New Delhi, the Party Leader Mr Gopi Nath Munde said that his party will urge the Lok Sabha Speaker not to use marshals in the house. On the same issue, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today admitted that sharp differences prevailed in the JD(U), but ruled out any crisis or split facing the party.Nitish to reporters in Patna, he said, Bihar is the first state which under the rule of NDA provided 50 per cent reservation to women in panchayati raj institutions and urban bodies. He said, with the experience of women running panchayati raj institutions and urban bodies effectively, he will never shy away from supporting a similar move by the Centre.

Asserting that he is not averse to ensure reservation for OBCs and other weaker sections of the society in the women's reservation bill, Mr Kumar said, this issue can be handled later after the adoption of the bill in the Lok Sabha.On JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav's reservation about the bill, the Chief Minister said, he has explained his position on the issue.

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