Amid demands for getting the long-pending Women’s Reservation Bill passed, government on Wednesday said it was even ready to extend the last session of the 15th Lok Sabha if the House agreed.
The Winter Session of Parliament, the last of this Lok Sabha, is concluding on Friday.
The issue was fervently raised by unattached member Jayaprada, who was vociferously supported by members of Left parties, BJD, Trinamool Congress and even some from Congress, many of whom were on their feet expressing solidarity with her demand.
“If the government can make so much effort to get the Telangana Bill passed, why can’t it do so for the women’s bill? What is the government’s intention,” asked Jayaprada.
Without naming Samajwadi Party, which has expelled her, the cine star-turned-politician also said, “Some parties don’t want this bill to be passed. But the government can make efforts.”
CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia also said the bill has been “pending for so many years. Why can’t you (government) bring it?”
In his response, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said, “I entirely agree with the members. I am ready to extend the session to get the Women’s Reservation Bill passed if the House agrees.”
Incidentally, the bill was listed for being taken up in this session.
The bill, introduced by the UPA-I government in May 2008 and passed by Rajya Sabha in March 2010, seeks to reserve one-third of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies.
Similar bills have been introduced thrice in the late 90’s but have lapsed with the dissolution of respective Lok Sabha.