Manmohan Singh calls the Women's Reservation Bill "a momentous development for women emancipation"

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New Delhi, Mar 9 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Tuesday described the Women's Reservation Bill as "a momentous development" and a step forward towards emancipation of the women.

"It's a momentous development. The Bill going to be passed here is a step forward. Women play an important role in the nation building. The Bill is set to empower women," said Prime Minister Dr. Singh just ahead of the Bill being put to vote in the Rajya Sabha.

Clarifying the concerns of a section of political parties about the Women's Reservation Bill ignoring the women of the minority groups or the other backward classes, the PM said: "It is not an anti minority, anti-OBC bill, it carries forward the emancipation of women."

He also added that if India has to realise its full potential, social and economic development is necessary.

"It is a grateful remembrance for all brave women, who fought for India's independence," said Dr. Singh while adding that it is great celebration for all women, who risked their lives in India's struggle for freedom such as Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Geeta Mukherjee and Indira Gandhi.

"There is unanimity for the Bill and I thank the Opposition for it," Prime Minister stated in the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Singh, however, also apologized to Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari for the disruption of the House as witnessed by all on Monday.

"I owe the Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari a profound apology for what happened yesterday," said the Prime Minister.

Union Law and Justice Minister Veerappa Moily said: " It's and opportunity to show the world that when it comes to the progress of the country, we don't fall back."

Earlier, Bahujan Samaj Party decided to abstain alleging that: Our party believed that the Government will take into consideration its concerns about the other backward class women before putting the Bill to vote but as it has not done so, hence we abstain ourselves from voting."

Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) also absented itself from the voting. (ANI)

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