iconimg Saturday, August 29, 2015

Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, June 12, 2009
Raising the number of seats in the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies is being seen as a way out to arrive at a consensus on the Women's Reservation Bill which is being opposed in the present form by some political parties. Both the government and the Congress have made it clear that there would be no dilution of the proposed 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and in state assemblies.

Over a decade after the exercise started, there is no unanimity on how to go about with the task without antagonising various sections.

"No male member will be willing to vote himself out", said a member of the previous Parliamentary Standing Committee, which went into the controversial bill, suggesting that it would be a tall order to expect the members to back any measure that could hit them hard.

A former Union Minister, who has earlier held parleys with opposition parties to reach a consensus on the issue, suggested that a solution can be found if the number of seats in the Lok Sabha, which now has strength of 543, is increased to accommodate women.

"Instead of sharing the existing seats, increasing the number of seats in the Lok Sabha could be a solution. If that is done, the government can even bring the Bill in the Budget session," another member of the Committee said.