Govt mulls introducing Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament

NEW DELHI (TIP): The Modi government may introduce in Parliament the Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve one third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies for women.

A senior BJP leader said top echelons of the government and the party have been brainstorming over the Bill, which had polarised the political class whenever various governments introduced it earlier.

Asked if the government will bring the Bill in its original form orincorporate some changes, he said the matter is still being debated.

On being asked if the Bill will be introduced in the Winter Session, the leader, on condition of anonymity, said, “It may be introduced. But a final call has not been taken yet.”

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had on Wednesday written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to introduce the Bill passed in the Lok Sabha by taking advantage of the BJP’s majority in the House.

BJP leaders claimed that Gandhi was doing politics over the matter and said the UPA government did not introduce the Bill in the Lok Sabha as it could not overcome opposition from within its own ranks.

The Bill is unique in the way it has polarised opinions as despite getting public support from all major national parties, including the BJP, Congress and the Left, it has drawn fierce opposition from some regional outfits and MPs from backward classes.

Many OBC MPs cutting across party lines, including the BJP and the Congress, believe that such a law will give advantage to women from upper castes, who are better educated and more resourceful.

Regional satraps like Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav have also opposed it bitterly, demanding reservation for OBCs and minorities within the quota for women and also that the quantum of reservation should be far less than 33.33 per cent. A strong view within the BJP is that if its government succeeds in getting this constitutional amendment bill passed in Parliament, then it can upend conventional political faultlines and boost its prospects ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.

Source: PTI

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