Women's Bill underlines our commitment to women empowerment: Cong

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New Delhi, May 6 (UNI) The Congress today said introduction of the Women's Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha marked fulfilment of one of its major promises given to the electorate during the last elections and highlighted the party's commitment to empowering women.

''It was a proud moment for all of us in the UPA,'' AICC Spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told mediapersons, while underlining the ''unflinching'' commitment of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the sincerity of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

In this context, he pointed out the 33 per cent reservation for women envisioned by Rajiv Gandhi in local bodies. ''More than one million women are now doing spectacular jobs in local self governments.'' Denouncing the ''unruly'' behaviour of the Samajwadi Party members during the introduction of the Bill, she described today as a ''sad day'' for Indian democracy.

Asked why the introduction of the Bill was timed with the Karnataka assembly elections, Ms Natarajan said the Women's Bill was a major promise made by the Congress in its election manifesto. It was also a major item in the Common Minimum Programme, which forms the basis of governance by the UPA coalition.

''Absolutely there is no issue about timing. There is no mystery either... Our commitment is well known,'' Ms Natarajan said.

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