LS adjournment dashes hope of women activists, relief to JD(U)

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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) Even as women groups were demanding 33 per cent reservation and Janata Dal (United) President Sharad Yadav declared that his party would not allow the controversial Bill to be presented in Parliament, the Lok Sabha was today adjourned sine die dashing hopes of the fairer sex.

Women activists under the banner of the All India Democratic Women's association (AIDWA) and National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) protested outside Parliament demanding 33 per cent reservation for the fair sex in Parliament and state legislature.

The demonstrators led by AIDWA General Secretary Suhasini Ali and NFIW leader Annie Raja said as per Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assurance the Bill would be considered by the Union Cabinet this evening and be brought before Parliament tomorrow. Shouting slogans, they demanded that the Bill be considered by Parliament during this session. Some of them also courted arrest before being removed by the security personnel.

However, Mr Yadav declared that either sub-quota for women of SC/ST or OBC be brought within the reservation for women and if the percentage of reservation be reduced to half of 33 per cent seats only then his party would support it. Claiming that a number of MPs were opposed to the women's reservation Bill in its present form, he said the government was bringing this Bill to divert the attention from rising prices.

He said the MPs opposed to the controversial Bill would stall its presentation in the House. On how they would prevent the presentation of the Bill, Mr Yadav said it would be done like last time. Earlier, the MPs, who opposed to the controversial Bill, had torn its copies and prevented its presentation.

Meanwhile, much to the relief of Mr Yadav and other MPs opposed to the Bill Speaker Somnath Chatterjee adjourned the Lok Sabha sine die this afternoon. The Rajya Sabha, which was adjourned in the morning after paying homage to noted Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande who died recently, would meet tomorrow.

However, the possibility of the Bill being presented in the Upper House tomorrow is remote.

With this development, there is a question mark on the proposed Cabinet meeting scheduled at 2100 hrs . Since the Lok Sabha has already been adjourned, the Cabinet meeting planned to discuss a single - point Women Reservation Bill and its clearance to bring it before Parliament is unlikely.

UNI AJ HS RK1705

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