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Updated: March 8, 2010 07:47 IST

Centre unfazed by opposition to Women's Reservation Bill

Aarti Dhar
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A woman at work near the bank of River Tawi on the eve of International Women’s Day in Jammu. Centre will present a bill in the Parliament on Monday aiming to reserve one-third of legislative seats for women. Photo: PTI
PTI
A woman at work near the bank of River Tawi on the eve of International Women’s Day in Jammu. Centre will present a bill in the Parliament on Monday aiming to reserve one-third of legislative seats for women. Photo: PTI

The government on Sunday expressed the hope that the Women's Reservation Bill, 2008 would be passed in the current session of Parliament despite opposition from some political parties.

“I am expecting men and women to support me when I present the Bill in Rajya Sabha tomorrow [Monday],'' Union Law and Justice Minister Veerappa Moily said at a function here.

He said consensus among major political parties emerged after a lot of consultations but added that no single party could claim credit for it. The Bill has been pending for over a decade.

Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party has described the proposed legislation as “anti-Muslim and anti-other backward classes'' in its present form as it excluded women of these sections.

Terming the Bill “dangerous,'' SP chief Mulayam Singh suggested in Lucknow that women be given 50 per cent reservation in government jobs rather than a quota in Parliament and the State Assemblies.

The SP has called a meeting of its Rajya Sabha members for Monday morning to chalk out its course of action when the Bill is tabled.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal, too, has said it would oppose the Bill “tooth and nail and is “even prepared to be marshalled out.''

Describing the Bill as a “political blunder,'' RJD president Lalu Prasad said in Patna that it was a conspiracy hatched by both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress to suppress representation of women belonging to the Other Backward Classes, the Scheduled Tribes/Scheduled Castes and Muslim communities.

While there is a split in the Janata Dal (United) over the Bill with the Bihar Chief Minister extending support and party chief Sharad Yadav opposing it, the Bahujan Samaj Party has said it will not back the legislation in its present form.

Janata Dal (Secular) chief H.D. Deve Gowda, too, has said that his party will support the Bill only if there is reservation for OBC women.

But undeterred by these developments, Mr. Moily said: “After all, the country needs such legislation and with our best intentions, the political parties could not evolve a system where adequate representation was made available to women.”

He said the proposed constitutional amendment was the only “remedy'' to provide adequate representation to women.

“The people of the country, the women and Parliament will take the credit. There is no partition in this credit,” he said, when asked to react on the BJP's claim that it had first introduced the proposed legislation in the Lok Sabha but it could not be passed following stiff opposition.

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Reservation for women should be given on Govt jobs rather than a quota in Parliament and the State Assemblies.

from:  lpadhi
Posted on: Mar 8, 2010 at 11:27 IST

Does any government in a democracy anywhere do anything for purely altuistic reasons without a thought on its effect on the party's electoral fortunes in times to come? An honest answer to this question has to be in the negative. Yet the Union Law and Justice Minister Veerappa Moily has stressed the point that no single party could claim credit for the Women's Reservation Bill. Why did the Congress claim all the credit for the NREGS, denying any part of it to its supporter,the CPM? The Congress knows that it cannot get a constitution ammendment bill passed without the support from BJP and that BJP will also therefore claim credit for the Women's Reservation Bill. Minister Moily was clearly trying to forestall that. It would have been more appropriate for him to say that all parties who support the bill could be proud of what they are doing.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Mar 8, 2010 at 07:40 IST
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