Consensus on Women Reservation Bill difficult to achieve: Speaker

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Bhubaneshwar, June 8 (UNI) A consensus on the Women Reservation Bill recently introduced in Parliament to provide reservation to women is very difficult to achieve, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said here today.

Delivering the third Loknath Memorial lecture on ''India Sixty - an agenda for inclusive development'' organised by the Loknath Memorial Trust in memory of the great freedom fighter and former CPI leader Loknath Choudhury, the Speaker said it was difficult to achieve a consensus as some political parties parties were opposing the Bill.

Mr Chatterjee said in a Parliamentary democracy, political parties had different priorities and opinions.

''But we should treat some issues as national issues and avoid political confrontation,'' Mr Chatterjee said.

He said even six decades after Independence, women's representation in the higher representative bodies was woefully inadequate.

''No plan for the development of the country can be a succeess if we do not make women equal partners in the task of nation building,'' The Speaker said a substantial segment of the population would be prevented from exercising their rights and deprived of political and social participation if they were not given proper representation, he said.

''The women are not asking for charity. Some of the women members are performing exceptionally well,'' he said.

He said he would try his best and try to bring a consensus on the issue and hoped that the law would be enacted during his tenure as a Speaker.

Mr Chatterjee said even after 60 years of Independence, the country was still grappling with several complex problems and far away from realising many cherished goals set by the founding fathers.


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