As political parties search for the elusive consensus on women's reservation bill, India's first woman Speaker Meira Kumar has voiced confidence that the contentious legislation will be passed during the tenure of the 15th Lok Sabha.
"That a woman has been elected as Speaker is an indication that the women's bill could be passed in the 15th Lok Sabha," Kumar told reporters here.
The controversial bill, which provides for 33 per cent reservation to women in Parliament and state legislatures, has been included in the 100-day programme of the UPA government. However, parties like JD(U), SP and RJD remain strongly opposed to passing of the bill in its present form.
Kumar said the women, poor and Dalit people were happy to see her being elected as the Speaker. "Now people have started realising that nobody in this country will be ignored."
"It is a big responsibility and I am ready to accept this challenge," the 64-year-old said.
When a reporter said that his predecessor Somnath Chatterjee lost his cool many a time when members disrupted the proceedings, she said, "I will try not to lose patience...all the Lok Sabha members have elected me unanimously. I will try to take care of all of them."
She hastened to add that she was not commenting on Chatterjee's style of conducting the House proceedings.