After the first round of heated exchanges, those pushing for sub-quotas for Dalits, minorities and OBCs in the women’s reservation bill seem to be holding their fire while building their case gradually.
On Tuesday, when Panchayati Raj Secretary Shalini Singh appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice, which is looking into the bill, she faced a spate of queries on implementation of quotas in panchayats and zila panchayats and the empowerment of women.
Among the questions posed to her was why the sustainability of elected women’s representatives in the lower rungs of democracy showed a decline.
According to data presented to the panel, of the 84.6 per cent first timer women pradhans, only 12 per cent got re-elected the second time and a bare 3.4 per cent the third time. “Why this sudden fall?” was among the first queries to which the secretary will have to send a written response. She was also asked to give a break-up of the performance data on SCs, STs, OBCs and minorities.
The committee headed by Congress member EM Sudarsana Natchiappan will hear the views of the CPI(M), CPI, AIADMK and DMK when it meets again on June 17 and 18.