The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 p.m. amid uproar over SP, RJD demand for implementation of Ranganath Misra Commission report on minority welfare.
Earlier today, the Government expressed confidence over passage of Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament, saying though it did not want to “bulldoze” those opposing it, they should understand that equality was a fundamental right.
“I would say that it is a national resolve (to give 33 per cent reservation to women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies). In all these 14 years, it has been waiting. A change has to come and this is the day the change will come,” Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily told reporters.
The Bill is slated to be taken up in Rajya Sabha today.
When asked if government would demand removal of members opposed to the Bill from the House, Mr. Moily said this was a hypothetical question.
“Our idea is not to bulldoze things. In a democracy, differences of opinion will be there, dissent will be there,” Mr. Moily said, adding that in a country of 600 million people, differences are bound to exist.
“I don't find fault in this but, at the same time, there are 600 million people and you are not in a position to get more than 18.5 per cent into legislatures. You cannot continue this kind of a domain. We need to provide them (women) the succour....Equality is a fundamental right,” he said.
The Law Minister said democracy required taking “appropriate decisions at the appropriate time”.
The Bill being brought in to coincide with the International Women's Day is expected to be approved without
any hitch with the Congress, BJP and the Left support and backing of some small parties and independents.
A Constitution amendment needs a two-thirds majority in voting requiring the support of 155 MPs in Rajya Sabha for its passage. The bill has clear backing of at least 165 MPs in the House with an effective strength of 233.
The opponents of the measure, BSP and SP, have 12 members each in Rajya Sabha while RJD has 4. Former premier H. D. Deve Gowda, whose JD(S) has 2 seats, said his party would give support if there is a OBC quota.