Congress not to support caste quota in women's reservation

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New Delhi, June 9 (UNI) Despite the ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal standing firm in its demand for a sub-quota, the Congress today decided against any communal quota within the proposed 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies.

A high-level meeting of senior women Congress leaders today discussed the issue and formulated their response to be filed before the Parliamentary Standing Committee, to which the Women's Quota Bill was referred after it was introduced in Rajya Sabha during the last session.

Union Ministers Ambika Soni, Meira Kumar, Renuka Chowdhury, Panabaka Lakshmi, Kumari Shelja and senior Party leaders Prabha Thakur, Mohsina Kidwai, Krishna Tirat and AICC Spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan attended the meeting held at the AICC headquarters.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi were also present.

After the meeting, Mr Mukherje briefed Congress President Sonia Gandhi on the outcome of the discussion.

Ms Natarajan told mediapersons that the Congress would remain firm in its stand in favour of a 33 per cent women's quota.

Ms Prabha Thakur, who is also the President of the ALL India Congress Committee, said the individual political parties could make the caste quota, instead of such a provision being incorporated in the bill.

She said the decision at tday's meeting was that the party should support the bill in its present form. "If any need for caste quota is felt in future, amendments could always be incorporated in the act at that point of time." UNI SH RL CS1925

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