As it seeks consensus amongst political parties on the issue of the women’s reservation Bill, the government said it is committed to getting the legislation passed in Parliament.
“We have to evolve a consensus on the issue of women’s reservation. We have seen the earlier experience also, but my party is committed to this (the Bill), we will see how it can progress,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said at the Assocham awards function.
Naidu, however, declined to give any time frame for bringing the Bill in Parliament and said the NDA government would move “forward cautiously” on the issue.
“I cannot give any time frame because it is not to be decided by one party. It needs broader support and consensus among all political parties. You need an amendment as well,” he said when asked whether the Bill would be introduced in the upcoming winter session of Parliament.
“We have to talk to different parties, take them on board and then move forward. We have had bitter experiences earlier … on the discussion of the Bill. Keeping that in mind, we have to move forward cautiously,” he said.
Regarding the opposition to the Bill, Naidu said without naming anybody that, “Some men have their own way of obstructing the progress of women and are determined to deprive them of opportunities.
“The issue of women’s reservation is one such example. For long have we been talking of giving one-third share to women in the Assemblies and in Parliament. Why should anybody grudge giving just one-third seats to women when they are equal in number.”
Hoping for the speedy enactment of the law, Naidu said, “I strongly feel that the women’s reservation Bill needs to be taken forward to its logical conclusion. Earlier the better.”
About 35 women achievers from across the country were honoured by the Assocham Ladies League at the event.
Naidu said that the role of women in society should be recognised and all hurdles towards their empowerment should be removed.
“Women are on a par with men… Whatever few hurdles there are in the way of women expressing themselves shall be brought down quickly. I hope that day is not too far.
“It is one thing to hold women in high esteem but what is more important is to accord them due space, share and status,” Naidu said.
“It is patently false to suggest that, by nature, men are more capable than women. These days, in umpteen number of areas, women are outdoing men,” he added.