Women's bill tabled in Rajya Sabha amidst uproar

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New Delhi, May 6 : United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government on Tuesday introduced Women's reservation bill for reserving one-third seats in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies for women amidst uproar in Rajya Sabha.

A day after the Union Cabinet approved the tabling of the Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament, Law Minister H R Bhardwaj presented it even as Samajwadi Party (SP) members protested against the move.

The uproar forced the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Hamid Ansari to adjourn the House for some time.

Admitting that there were differences among the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) allies on the bill, Bharadwaj told the media that the government would seek the support of all the members of the parliament and work for building a consensus on the bill.

"We would like to address the agitation that is there with the UPA itself and we want to deal with the issue objectively. This is a good program and we want everybody's approval," said Bhardwaj.

The Union Cabinet has cleared the controversial bill at a time when the Congress-led coalition is entering the last year of its five-year term and is aimed at fulfilling one of its major poll promises.

Tuesday's uproarious scenes in the Rajya Sabha were a repeat of the events 12 years ago when some members on its introduction in the Lok Sabha tore the copies of the bill.

"Tearing of the bill was inevitable by the way the bill was brought into the house. They adjourned Lok Sabha and called an emergency meeting of the cabinet late (last) night and then said due to technical reasons, this has happened," said Sushma Swaraj, senior leader, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Members of the Lok Sabha are agitated over the fact that the three-month long budget session of the house was adjourned four days ahead of the schedule on Monday without taking up the Women's Reservation Bill.

Sharad Yadav, President, Janta Dal-United (JDU) said that the way the bill was introduced made a mockery of the parliament and its democracy.

"The way they have brought the bill into the house, they have tried to bulldoze 80 per cent of India's population. They have made a mockery of the parliament and its democracy. They should have given us at least 24 hours notice. We don't know what amendment they want to make, they have just circulated this piece of paper," said Yadav.

While Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo and Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad Yadav, after initial opposition, agreed to the introduction of the bill, one of the lawmakers of his party, Devender Prasad Yadav described it as a murder of the democratic values.

"They have murdered democratic values and this is no way to introduce the bill. If they had the courage, they should have introduced it in Lok Sabha. They have got the bill from the backdoor. They have added a shameful chapter to the book of Parliament," said D.P. Yadav.

The bill has been pending for 12 years, as a pro-backward parties demanding 'a quota within quota' for women belonging to backward, minority and scheduled castes.

ANI

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