The long-pending Women’s Reservation Bill is expected to be taken up for consideration in the Rajya Sabha on March 8, the International Women’s Day.

“Government plans to bring the Bill in the Rajya Sabha on March 8 for consideration and passing,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters.

The announcement came close on the heels of the Union Cabinet clearing the Constitution Amendment Bill in its current form which envisages 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies.

The Cabinet cleared the bill soon after a Parliamentary Standing Committee gave its report “strongly” recommending that the bill, which has been hanging fire for the past over a decade, be passed at the earliest in its present form.

President Pratibha Patil, in her address to the Joint sitting of Parliament recently, had asked members to accord special attention to the measure.

The Business Advisory Committee will decide the exact date on which the bill would be taken up by the Rajya Sabha.

Asked whether the Government has started talks with parties like SP and RJD which have reservation on the Bill, in its present form, he said, “We have not yet spoken to them”.

Mr. Bansal’s announcement came on a day when the BJP threw the ball in the government’s court on the Bill, saying it was willing to support the measure but the government will have to bring it before Parliament.

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