Congress highlights coalition compulsions in Women's Quota Bill

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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) Amid reports that the UPA government would table the Women's Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow, the Congress today said the decision to make another attempt to evolve consensus over the issue of 33 per cent quota for women in Parliament and state Legislatures underscored its commitment to empowering women.

"It is our effort to create consensus which is the best way in a coalition," AICC spokesman Manish Tewari told mediapersons, while evading a direct answer to a question on the fate of the fresh Bill in the wake of continued opposition to it by some of the political parties.

"We would like to see that the Women's reservation Bill is not only tabled, but also becomes a reality," he said, adding "We are endeavouring to create consensus. If consensus could not be created, then there is always a room for a second call." Asked if the RJD, a major partner of the ruling coalition, had changed its stand in favour of the Bill, he said the Congress being a party heading a coalition government at the Centre, had the responsibility to carry on all partners with it.

When a reporter pointed out that the BJP and the Left had openly pledged their support to the Bill, Mr Tewari said, "It is our effort to see that the Bill gets the largest support." In this context, he highlighted the strong support expressed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi to the Bill.

Mr Tewari asserted that the Congress party had political will with conviction in the matter of Women's quota Bill. "We are striving for consensus with full conviction." But the BJP-led NDA lacked conviction, he added.

UNI SH HS KN1757

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