Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar’s efforts to evolve a consensus on the contentious women’s reservation bill failed as anticipated.
Parties such as the RJD stuck to their demand for a subquota for OBCs and minorities within the one-third quota proposed for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
The other vociferous opponents of the bill — the Samajwadi Party and the BSP — were not present.
“I will call the SP and the BSP separately to discuss the issue… Efforts will continue till a consensus is achieved,” Kumar said after the meeting.
The BJP, which helped the government pass the bill in the Rajya Sabha in March 2010, promised similar support in the Lok Sabha.
But Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj insisted the Speaker evolve a consensus before the bill is brought in the House to avoid a repetition of scenes in the Rajya Sabha when marshals had to be brought in.
“Members who disagree should be given a chance to put across their views and be allowed to press for amendments and even walkout…” she said.
While RJD’s Raghuvansh Prasad Singh demanded that the existing bill be reworked to include a subquota, Shiv Sena’s Anant Geethe demanded that instead of a 33% reservation in elected legislatures, parties should be asked to go for a mandatory one-third reservation of tickets for women.
Those supporting the bill wanted it brought in the Lok Sabha in the monsoon session, starting August 1.