Mixed response over Women Reservation Bill

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New Delhi, Mar 4 (ANI): The political parties expressed mixed reaction for the Union Government's decision to introduce the Women Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

On February 25, Union Cabinet had approved the long-awaited Women's Reservation Bill, which provides for 33 percent of reservation for women in the elected bodies.

The National Commission for Women, chairperson, Girija Vyas opined that the proposed Bill would not be an obstacle for anybody.

"By giving reservation to women, it will not affect their own domain. Rather we belong to half the population and we will carry forward the tradition of working together. Our percentage in the decision taking institutions reaches just up to six to eight percent whereas in other countries this percentage is much higher," said Girija Vyas.

Union Law and Justice Minister and Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily mentioned that he is in favour of inclusion of reservation for the other backward classes (OBCs) in the Bill.

"I know, you know, this is confined to the woman reservation of 33 percent. You know that it is a general concept that in the entire house there should be reservation for OBC both men and women. Unless there is a bigger picture, which our friends want, that should be brought about. We can think about it, we can consult it, but it has to be on a different paradigm," Moily noted.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) contended there should be reservation for Muslim women and also women belonging to OBCs and added to say otherwise, it would vote against the Bill.

Akhilesh Yadav, president of the Uttar Pradesh state unit of SP said that they were firm with their decision of protesting, in case the amendments suggested by his party are not accepted and incorporated.

"In case backward class and Muslim women are not included in it (Women's Reservation Bill), Samajwadi Party will oppose it and if the government is ready to accept the amendment, we will stand by its favour," observed Akhilesh Yadav.

On the other hand Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari, said that the government is not trying to perturb the unity of the opposition.

"The UPA government (led by) the Congress party has always been saying that Women's (Reservation) Bill should be passed. So raising a question for everything or saying that we want to break the unity of the opposition, first let the opposition be sure if they are themselves united," said Manish Tiwari of Congress party.

The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee of Parliament on December 17, 2009 and its report was placed before the Lok Sabha by Shahnawaz Hussain, of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and in the Rajya Sabha by Jayanti Natrajan, of Congress party on Thursday.

Amidst opposition by a few, the political parties, by and large, are keen to see the early passage of the Bill in the Parliament, which has been pending since 1999 since the pro-backward parties ave been demanding 'a quota within quota' for women belonging to backward, minority and scheduled castes. (ANI)

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