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Push for Women’s Bill to break unity?

In what could be seen as a move to drive a wedge in the opposition ranks, the government is contemplating introduction of the Women’s Reservation Bill in Lok Sabha, either on Friday or by next week.

delhi Updated: Dec 03, 2010 00:54 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

In what could be seen as a move to drive a wedge in the opposition ranks, the government is contemplating introduction of the Women’s Reservation Bill in Lok Sabha, either on Friday or by next week.

For the past 15 working days in Parliament, the opposition has unitedly unleashed an offensive against the UPA over the 2G spectrum issue.

Government managers heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday with the completion of almost all of the financial business of the winter session.

The last hurdle — Rajya Sabha taking up appropriation bills of Rs 1,024.61 crore for the railways— will be crossed on Friday after Lok Sabha passed these on Thursday. The supplementary demands for Rs 45,000 crore have already been pushed through in both the houses.

“A lot of legislative business is still pending. We may introduce the women’s bill in the Lok Sabha,” a UPA functionary said.

Forty-nine important bills and 20 other issues identified by the opposition are pending.

Rajya Sabha had on March 9 this year passed the bill that provides 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

Despite the logjam, the government does not want to adjourn parliament sine die before December 13. “The opposition could give an impression that while they were ready to allow parliament to function, the government shied away,” a Congress leader said.

Though the government has repeatedly rejected the JPC demand, it sought to create a rift in the opposition camp on Thursday by saying that even if a probe was ordered into the 2G-spectrum allocation, only seven out of the 37 parties in parliament could find a place in such a committee. The JPC, if formed, will comprise 21 members with 14 from Lok Sabha and seven from Rajya Sabha.

“Would it be a representative body? This will be unfair to smaller parties,” parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said.