Women reservation bill sent to Standing Committee

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New Delhi, May 6 (UNI) Terming as ''unfortunate'' the behaviour of some of the MPs during the introduction of the Women's Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi today said the controversial bill was brought in the Upper House so that it would not lapse.

The bill, which was cleared by the Union Cabinet in an emergency meeting last night, could be introduced only due to the staunch support of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he told reporters here.

After introduction, the bill was referred to the Standing Committee for consideration, he said and added that since the Lok Sabha was already adjourned sine die yesterday, the bill would be presented there in the next session.

''What happened in the Rajya Sabha today was unfortunate and not expected from our colleagues. Protests and objections under the rules are ok but physical resistance is reproachable and unfortunate.

Inspite of all this we were able to introduce the bill and refer it to the Standing Committee,'' he said.

He was referring to the Samajwadi Party members coming almost to blows with the ruling UPA colleagues in trying to snatch the bill from Law Minister Hansraj Bhardwaj. Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Choudhary and a few more Ministers tried to create a protective wall around the Law Minister, but the SP members, especially Abu Asim Azim, was successful in reaching up to the Minister and a scuffle followed between the SP and UPA members and they almost came to blows. Some of the SP members were successful in tearing down some documents.

Asserting that the government tried to arrive at a consensus on the issue of the 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state assembly, he said now the government would address their concerns regarding the bill in Parliament after debate. Stating that the government was always ready to discuss the bill with the various political parties, he said that the Prime Minister is making efforts in this regard. The bill was introduced after a long pending demand of women groups and organisation.

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