Pranab Mukherjee calls for all-party meeting over Women's Reservation Bill

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has called for an all-party meeting over the Women's Reservation Bill on April 5 before it is tabled in the upcoming session of the Parliament.

ttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has called for countrywide protests against the Bill next month, saying that the legislation was against Dalit icon Bhim Rao Ambedkar's ideology of empowering women from all sections of society.

Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has planned to hold the protests at the tehsil level and has asked its leaders to educate people about the 'flaws' in the Bill.

Mayawati has said the BSP is not against the reservation, but wants a sub-quota for the women from the weaker sections of society.

Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said that the government would seek to get the Women's Reservation Bill passed in the Lok Sabha during the second half of the current session of Parliament, which re-convenes on April 15.

Moily, however, denied that there would be changes in the Bill.

The Bill has been strongly opposed by the Yadav trio- Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) supreme Sharad Yadav, who have been demanding a quota within quota for women from backward communities and minorities.

Both Lalu Yadav and Sharad Yadav have threatened to withdraw support from the government if the Bill is passed in its present form.

Mulayam Singh Yadav had earlier made sexist remarks over the Bill saying "men would whistle at women parliamentarians coming through quota", asserting that he purposefully made these remarks so as to stir up a debate over the Women's Reservation Bill, which he claimed would only benefit women related to industrialists and bureaucrats.

The controversial yet historic Women's Reservation Bill seeks to provide 33 percent reservation for women in Parliament and in state legislative bodies. (ANI)

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