The women's reservation bill saw some good speeches from leading lights in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday outlining the positions and ideologies of the different parties over the long-debated legislation:
Manmohan Singh (Prime Minister): "It (the bill) is a momentous occasion in the long journey of empowering women that began at the dawn of freedom."
Veerapa Moily (Law Minister): "It is an opportunity to demonstrate to the world that when it comes to progressive measures, our country will not look back."
Arun Jaitley (BJP): "It is a historic responsibility of enacting one of the most progressive legislations. We unequivocally support it. But the privilege (of supporting the bill) has been substantially diluted by some of the most shameful incidents in India's parliamentary history".
Brinda Karat (CPI-M)): The bill will change (the country's political) culture because women today are still caught in a culture prison. In the name of tradition, stereotypes are imposed and we have to fight these everyday. These stereotypes will also be broken (by the bill)."
Jayanthi Natarajan (Congress): "No other party (has) had the courage to deliver the promise (of reservation of legislative seats for women) to the people of Indi"."
Satish C. Misra (BSP) "The bill will help only a limited number of people. It has not cared for interests of women belonging to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, backward classes and socially and economically backward section among the upper castes. We oppose the bill"."
Shivanand Tiwari (Janata Dal-United): "We support the bill. Nitish Kumar government was the first government to reserve 50 per cent seats for women in local bodies. Many state governments followed (the step). It has also been our demand for a quota within quota."
Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M): The ruling alliance does not have majority (in the Rajya Sabha). We are supporting you. We are doing our social duty to our country."
D. Raja (CPI): "Gender equality is a fundamental requirement to grow as a civilised nation."
Tarlochan Singh (Independent): "Of thirteen Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, three are represented by women. Out of ten Lok Sabha seats in Haryana, two are represented by women. The two states are already moving in direction of women's empowerment."
Kanimozhi (DMK): "We can amend the bill later (to look into demands for quota within quota.)"
Manohar Joshi (Shiv Sena): "Our leader Bal Thackeray told us to vote for women reservation bill each time it has come in parliament."