With differences persisting over the controversial Women’s Reservation Bill, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has convened an all-party meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament.
Though the Constitution Amendment Bill has been passed in the Rajya Sabha sometime back, consensus eludes the measure in the Lok Sabha with some parties like the Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal (United) seeking a quota within quota for women from backward classes.
In a letter to political parties, Ms. Kumar has asked them to take steps for early passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha.
The Bill granting 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies was passed by the Rajya Sabha after two days of high drama in March 2010.
The Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill has been hanging fire for close to 14 years due to lack of political consensus on the issue. It was first drafted by the H.D. Deve Gowda-led United Front government and brought to Parliament in September 1996.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said that the government was serious about the Bill as it “got it to the Rajya Sabha and also took a little unpleasant dose to see that it is passed”.