Government consults parties on women's quota bill | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Government consults parties on women's quota bill

delhi Updated: Apr 05, 2010 14:37 IST

The government on Monday consulted leaders of parties in the Lok Sabha on the controversial women's reservation bill but some of them remained bitterly opposed to the proposed legislation.

In his capacity as the leader of the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee convened the meeting attended by a string of political heavyweights at the parliament complex.

No details were immediately available but Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad said ahead of the meeting that he and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav would oppose the bill in its present form.

The bill, passed amid uproar in the Rajya Sabha last month, is also opposed by the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and a section of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U).

On Sunday, Samajwadi Party spokesman Mohan Singh told IANS that the party would oppose the bill at Monday's meeting.

The government, which faces a bigger opposition to the bill in the Lok Sabha, wants to introduce it in the lower house in the second phase of the budget session that starts April 15.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily and Defence Minister A K Antony also attended Monday's meeting.

The bill seeks to reserve 33 percent of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures.

The parties opposing the bill want quotas for minorities, Dalits and backward classes within the 33 percent seats reserved for women.

The Samajwadi Party has suggested that reservation for women in legislatures should be brought down to 20 percent from the proposed 33 percent.

The Congress has said it will strive to achieve a consensus on the bill.