Prime minister Manmohan Singh assured the CPI on Saturday that the Women’s Reservation Bill will be tabled in the Lok Sabha in the current session of Parliament.
A delegation of CPI leaders led by party general secretary AB Bardhan met the PM to demand immediate disbanding of Salwa Judum. “Towards the end of the discussion, I asked the PM about the status of the women’s reservation bill. He said the government is bringing the bill in this session and he has called a Cabinet meeting on Monday to discuss that,” Bardhan told Hindustan Times .
The current session of Parliament ends on May 9.
The Cabinet includes members from the RJD which has been a stiff opponent of the existing draft legislation that seeks to reserve one third seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
With barely a few months left for the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress is keen to fulfill one of its key commitments in the common minimum programme.
The possibility of the bill coming up next week gained strength when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi met recently.
Each time an effort has been made to introduce the bill, there has been stiff resistance to it from parties like the RJD and the SP that have been demanding a sub quota for OBCs and minorities. To break the deadlock on the issue, in between there have bene proposals of double member constituencies, increasing the total number of Lok Sabha seats and reserving a certain percentage of party tickets for women. It remains to be seen whether the government would once again face a blockade or succeed in tabling it.