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Speaker meets parties on women`s reservation

Yet another effort by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to reach a consensus on the Women`s Reservation Bill did not yield results with parties like SP and BSP sticking to their stand by opposing the legislation in its present form.



New Delhi: Yet another effort by Lok Sabha
Speaker Meira Kumar to reach a consensus on the Women`s
Reservation Bill did not yield results with parties like SP,
RJD and BSP sticking to their stand by opposing the
legislation in its present form.
After attending a meeting called by the Speaker today, SP
leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav
dubbed the bill in its present form as a "conspiracy" to end
the leadership of parties which have emerged from the rural
background and from amongst the poor and backward.

"We are not against women`s reservation. But we are
against the Women`s Reservation Bill in its present form. It
is a conspiracy to wipe out the leadership which has emerged
from villages and from amongst backwards and poor," Mulayam
Singh told reporters after the meeting.

After an all-party meeting on the same issue last month,
Kumar today convened a meeting of smaller parties and also
invited SP and BSP who had stayed away from the previous
exercise.
"We want quota within quota. We want women from Muslim
and Dalit communities to benefit from the legislation. While
Mulayam Singh and I are dubbed as anti-women`s reservation,
the fact is that we would like women from such communities to
get 60 per cent reservation. But the question is whether
others will agree," Prasad said.

Like Mulayam Singh, he too dubbed the bill in its present
form as a "conspiracy" and said while the Speaker took the
initiative to call the meeting, the effort should have been
made by the government.

BSP leader Dara Singh Chauhan is reported to have opposed
the bill in its present form at the meeting.

Kumar said the meeting was called after several
members expressed the desire on International Women`s Day that
a meeting of political leaders from all parties should be held
to discuss the Bill.

The bill granting 33 per cent reservation for women in
the Lok Sabha and state assemblies was passed by the Rajya
Sabha after two days of high drama in March 2010.

The Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill has been
hanging fire for close to 14 years due to lack of political
consensus on the issue. It was first drafted by the H D Deve
Gowda-led United Front government and introduced in Parliament
in September 1996.

PTI

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