BJP puts onus on UPA for safe passage of Women's Reservation Bill

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New Delhi, March 8 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has put the onus for the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill on the government.

The Bill should be presented and passed today. The indiscipline witness in Parliament is condemnable, said BJP spokeman Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The BJP warned that the UPA's opponents were expected to put up a strong fight, and it was up to the Government to maintain decorum in the House during the crucial voting phase.

The Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha and BJP leader Arun Jaitely said that women who constitute 50 per cent (of population) in India cannot be just 10 per cent in Parliament. The government has to decide as to what extent it is determined to pass it (the Bill).

"Parliament has other procedures of voting like by slips or electronic voting. It is upto the Chair to decide the method," said Mr. Jaitely to a private news channel.

Earlier, staging a repeat of the drama in 1999, some opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha today snatched Bill related documents from the table of the House Chairperson, Mohammad Hamid Ansari.

A similar protest was witnessed over the past 14 years, with opponents of the Bill noisily opposing the reservation of a third of the seats for women in Parliament and State Assemblies.

On Monday, in the Rajya Sabha, there was a huge uproar just when Law Minister M.Veerappa Moily tabled the Bill. The ruckus was started by SP, RJD and BSP MPs, leading to disruptions and adjournments.

The protesting MPs are demanding reservations for Dalit, OBC and minority communities within the Women's Reservation Bill's proposed quota of 33 per cent.

The Bill, which calls for a constitutional amendment, will be put to vote this evening.

However, the Congress party is confident about getting 180 votes when 155 needed for a two-thirds majority.

The Bill presently enjoys an overwhelming support of not just the ruling coalition, but also the BJP, the Left and a number of small parties.

In the Rajya Sabha, the Congress has 71 members, BJP 45, CPM 15, AIADMK 7, NCP 6, CPI 5, DMK 4, BJD 4, Telugu Desam, Trinamool Congress and AGP 2 each and Forward Bloc and RSP 1 each. These parties support the bill and account for 165.

SAD has 3 MPs and at least five of JD(U)'s seven will back the bill.

Earlier, on March 5, supporting the Women's Reservation Bill, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had issued a whip to their respective party members to ensure their presence in Rajya Sabha on Monday (March 8), the day when the House takes it up for discussion. (ANI)

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