Meet fails to end impasse on Women’s Bill

An all-party meet convened by the UPA on Women`s Quota Bill failed to arrive at a consensus.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The government’s latest effort to end the impasse over the Women`s Reservation Bill failed on Monday after the all-party meeting convened over the issue failed to reach a consensus.

The meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is Leader of Lok Sabha, was held to pave the way for taking up the proposed legislation for consideration in lower house when Parliament meets on April 15 for the second part of the budget session.

As expected, SP and RJD leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad, refused to budge from their earlier stand and said that they continue to oppose the bill in its present form.

Besides Mukherjee, senior union ministers P Chidambaram, A K Antony, Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee, M Veerappa Moily, P K Bansal, Prithviraj Chavan and V Narayansamy also attended the meeting and put forth the government’s point of view.

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, NDA convenor Sharad Yadav, Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M), Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI), Nageshwar Rao (TDP) and T R Baalu (DMK) were present too.

Both SP and RJD have said they were not against reservation for women, but would insist on their stand of "reservation within reservation" for Muslim women and backward classes.

Rajya Sabha had last month passed the Constitution amendment bill providing for 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

The government is keen on pushing ahead the bill but is said to be averse to using force for the purpose because of the stature of the opponents.

In the Rajya Sabha, marshals were used to remove obstructing members but the decision drew severe flak.

The Law Minister had said last week that the government is going ahead with the bill in its present form in Lok Sabha and ruled out any changes in it.

With agency inputs