NEW DELHI: Vice-President and Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari on Thursday assured women’s organisations that the Central government would take note of the groundswell of opinion in favour of ensuring one-third reservation for women in Parliament and State Legislatures.
The Vice-President was responding to queries by a delegation consisting of representatives of 22 women’s organisations to expedite the submission of the Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Women’s Reservation Bill.
The delegation met Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and asked him to intervene to ensure the passage of the Bill without further delay.
The representatives also met Parliamentary Standing Committee chairman E.M.S. Natchiappan and requested him to preserve the original draft of the Bill and to immediately table its recommendations before Parliament. They asked him to ensure a proper debate on the 108th Constitutional Amendment Bill and its passage without any dilution of its provisions during this session of Parliament.
Brinda Karat, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, reported the discussions held with the Vice-President and the Speaker to over 500 women, who had assembled for a demonstration at Parliament street.
The delegation criticised both the National Democratic Alliance and the United Progressive Alliance for keeping the Bill pending in the name of a “consensus.” It resolved to continue its struggle till the Bill was passed.
The meeting also passed a resolution condemning the attacks by Sangh parivar members on women in Mangalore.
It demanded that the Central and State governments ensure the safety and security of young women and minorities.
The groups included the All India Democratic Women’s Association, the Bandhua Mukti Morcha, the Samata, the Centre for Women’s Development Studies, the Guild of Services, the Joint Women’s Programme, Mata Sundari College, the Muslim Women’s Forum, the National Federation of Indian Women, Nirmala Niketan, Prayatan, Swasthik Mahila Samiti, Wada Na Todo, World Council Arya Samaj, the Young Women’s Christian Association.