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No consensus yet on Women Bill: Dasmunsi

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Nov 21: The Bill seeking reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and the state Legislative Assemblies may -- yet again -- fail to be introduced during the Winter Session Parliament commencing tomorrow.

Admitting to this, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi today told mediapersons here that the Bill had failed to find place on the agenda as ''no consensus over it could be reached'' among the various political parties.

Discussions were, however, still on and ''as and when a broad consensus is reached the Government will think of introducing it'', the Minister said, The Women's Reservation Bill was earlier introduced in 1996 in the Lok Sabha but lapsed as it failed to find time for discussion -- facing stiff opposition from various quarters, it was referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee where no consensual outcome was achieved.

The Winter Session -- to last till December 19 -- will have as many as 17 bills introduced and discussion taken up on another 16, Minister Dasmunsi said.

Prominent among the Bills to be introduced would be the Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Bill, the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Bill, the Judges (Inquiry) Bill, the Parents and Senior Citizens (Welfare and Maintenance) Bill, and the Insurance (Amendment) Bill.

Besides, Financial business comprising consideration of Supplementary Demands for Grants and Demands for Excess Grants relating to the Railways and the General Account, respectively, shall find place during the Session, the Minister said.

Among other significant issues likely during the next four weeks would be Statements by the External Affairs Minister on the status of the Indo-US Nuclear deal and the ongoing visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to India, he observed.

Price rise, the ongoing Sealing Operations in Delhi, the Sachar Committee Report, the Agricultural situation, and the Eleventh Plan Approach Paper were some other major issues likely to find place on the agenda during the coming days, the Minister informed.

The first day of the Session tomorrow will see both Houses adjourned after obituary references for Members who had died during the inter-session period. While the Rajya Sabha will mourn its member Lalit Suri (Sitting member), the Lok Sabha will adjourn as a mark of respect to Bahujan Samaj Party founder -- and former Lok Sabha member -- Kanshi Ram.


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