Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said the state had gone “beyond the Constitutional urge” to provide a 50-per cent reservation to women in elections to panchayats and urban local bodies. “The Constitution says at least one-third of the seats should be reserved for women (in Parliament and state legislatures), but we have gone beyond that and provided a 50-per cent reservation to women who form half of the population of the country,” he said while addressing a ‘Chetna Sabha’ in Darbhanga as part of the second leg of his ‘Nishchay Yatra’.
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The Constitution (108th) Amendment Bill to reserve one-third of the seats in Parliament and state legislatures for women is still pending in Lok Sabha. Stating that his government has, from the beginning, accorded “top priority” to women’s welfare, Kumar said initially, 35 per cent of the seats in police jobs was reserved for women.
“Now, we have made a rule, as part of our ‘Seven Resolves’, to provide a 35-per cent reservation to women in all the government jobs,” he said. The chief minister said in order to boost education among girls, the state government had launched the ‘Cycle Yojana’ so that girls could pedal their way to schools and the move had increased attendance in schools considerably.
State Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Urban Development Minister Maheshwar Hazari, Revenue Minister Madan Mohan Jha, Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and state police chief PK Thakur were present on the occasion.