New Delhi, May 5 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Monday alleged that the government is not serious on introducing the long pending Women's reservation bill in the on-going session of the parliament.
"UPA should clarify its stand first, as they constitute the government. What stand will they take? It may be Lalu Prasad Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan or any member supporting them, but what about those parties like the communist parties, or DMK, who are supporting the government from outside, what is their stand on the issue? It is clear, they are against women's reservation," said Naqvi, in New Delhi.
The proposed legislation is aimed at reserving one-third of seats in Central and State legislatures for women.
The Bill was initially drafted by the H D Deve Gowda-led United Front government and was introduced in the Lok Sabha on September 12, 1996.
Since then it has been introduced in Parliament several times, the Bill could not be passed because of lack of political consensus.
At present some of the allies of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government want the bill to stipulate quota for women belonging to various backward classes in the 33 per cent reservation.
However, brushing aside the allegations the government says that it is very serious in introducing the bill.
"UPA and its chairperson are most serious over the issue. We are trying to bring the women's reservation bill for which it is important to gather support of other groups. Whenever we try to establish link, some or the other group, due to some or the other reason create problems," said Sri Prakash Jaiswal, Union Minister of State For Home Affairs.
While backing the government one of it's main allies, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), said that the bill should be introduced in Parliament in its original form and differences could be sorted out through discussion in the house.
"As far as CPM is concerned, we have been reiterating and we continue to reiterate, bring the women's reservation bill, in its existent form before the parliament. The objection which some political parties may have, those objections can be discussed when the discussions on the bill takes place in the house. If they so wish, they can move their amendments and during the course of discussions, amendments can also be considered. But do not stop the bill from coming into the parliament, for a discussion. But do not stop the bill from coming into the parliament, for a discussion and in course of discussion, let the house take a discussion on how and in what form it will and it should be," said Sitaram Yechury, senior leader, CPI-M.
Lalu Prasad of Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Mulayam Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party (SP), both allies of the UPA, argue that reservation in the present form would only help women of the elitist groups to gain seats, therefore causing further discrimination and under- representation to the poor and backward classes.
The Union cabinet is likely to meet later in the day to discuss the issue.