Parties seek passage of women’s reservation bill

NEW DELHI, 17 Sep: Several political parties on Sunday made a strong pitch for the passage of the women’s reservation bill during the five-day Parliament session beginning Monday, with the government asserting that an “appropriate decision will be taken at an appropriate time.”

At an all-party meeting convened by the government on the eve of the session, several leaders said that the long-pending bill should be tabled, and expressed hope that it can be passed by consensus.

The bill seeks to reserve one-third of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies.

After the meeting, union minister Pralhad Joshi

said that an “appropriate decision will be taken at appropriate time” on the parties’ demand for the bill.

The minister said that tributes were paid at the all-party meeting to security forces personnel who laid down their lives in Kashmir.

On 13 September, four security forces personnel – 19 Rashtriya Rifles commanding officer Manpreet Singh, Jammu & Kashmir Police deputy superintendent Maj Ashish Dhonchak, Humayun Bhatk, and a soldier – were killed by terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

On the women’s reservation bill, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that all opposition parties are demanding its passage in this Parliament session.

BJP ally and NCP leader Praful Patel said, “We appeal to the government to pass the women’s reservation bill in this Parliament session.”

“We are hopeful that women’s reservation bill will be passed with consensus if tabled in Parliament,” he added.

Patel said also that Parliament will shift to the new building on Ganesh Chaturthi on Tuesday.

However, some regional parties demanded quotas for backward classes and SCs within the overall reservation for women, sources said. This has been a key sticking point in the passage of the bill earlier.

BJD leader Pinaki Misra said that a new era should begin from the new Parliament building and the women’s reservation bill should be passed.

Chowdhury told reporters that the government had informed them that it was a regular session of Parliament.

“Only the government knows what its intention is. It may surprise everyone with some new agenda,” he said, adding that issues such as price rise, unemployment, and the situation on the border with China were raised by his party in the meeting.

Several regional parties, including the BJD and the BRS, also pushed for tabling of the women’s reservation bill.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the deputy leader of the House in the Lok Sabha; union minister Piyush Goyal, the leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha; and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi represented the government in the meeting.

Former prime minister and JD (S) leader HD Deve Gowda, DMK’s Kanimozhi, TDP’s Ram Mohan Naidu, TMC’s Derek O’Brien, AAP’s Sanjay Singh, BJD’s Sasmit Patra, BRS’ K Keshava Rao, YSR Congress Party’s V Vijayasai Reddy, RJD’s Manoj Jha, JD (U)’s Anil Hegde, and SP’s Ram Gopal Yadav were also among those who attended the meeting. (PTI)