All party meeting fails to reach consensus on Women's Reservation Bill

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New Delhi, Apr 5 (ANI): An all-party meeting convened by the UPA Government to discuss the Women's Reservation Bill failed to arrive at a consensus on Monday.

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav reiterated their opposition to the Bill in its present form.

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had called the all-party meeting in an attempt to build a consensus on the Bill ahead of the second half of the budget session of Parliament.

Lalu Prasad has demanded a quota for Muslim and Dalit women, and women of other backward castes.

Interacting with media, after the all-party meeting, Lalu said: I thank the government for this all-party meeting. But Muslim, backward and Dalit women must be given a quota. Our stand has not changed."

After the meetiing, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said the Bill would look after the interests of the minorities.

Janata Dal (United) President Sharad Yadav has also been demanding a quota within quota.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has supported the bill.

The Government is hoping to introduce the Bill in the Lok Sabha when parliament reconvenes on April 15.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is demanding that the Bill be passed in its present form.

The Rajya Sabha had last month passed a Constitution Amendment Bill that provides for 33 per cent reservation of women in Parliament and state assemblies.

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, NDA convenor Sharad Yadav, Basudeb Acharia of the Communist party of India (Marxist), Gurudas Dasgupta of the Communist Party of India, Nageshwar Rao of the Telugu Desam Party, and T R Baalu of the Dravida Munnetra Kazagam were present at today's meeting. (ANI)

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