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Parliament session begins today

india Updated: Nov 22, 2006 01:14 IST
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Despite repeated assurances from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the long-awaited legislation seeking one third seats for women in Parliament and legislative assemblies has not been listed for business during the month-long winter session of Parliament, which begins on Wednesday.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi on Tuesday claimed the government would evolve a consensus on the controversial bill and bring it for legislation.

"The government is trying our best to bring consensus over the bill. There are differences of opinion. The home minister is talking to all parties," Dasmunsi told reporters.

While the Lok Sabha will be adjourned Wednesday after paying homage to Bahujan Samaj Party leader Kanshi Ram who died on Oct 9, the Rajya Sabha will condole the death of sitting member Lalit Suri.

The government has requested Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to go against the conventions to adjourn the house in memory of a former member, as he was "an icon like Baba Saheb Ambedkar and Babu Jagjivan Ram".

Among the 24 bills listed for winter session includes the SC/ST/OBC Services and Posts Bill to seek 49.5 per cent reservation in higher educational institutions - 27 per cent for Other Backward Classes (OBCs), 15 per cent for Scheduled Castes and 7.5 per cent for Scheduled Tribes and Judges (Inquiry) Bill to ensure transparency in the functioning of the judiciary and also enhance its prestige.

The government on Tuesday clarified it would inform the Supreme Court that there was no creamy layer in the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. The Supreme Court's directive to exempt the "creamy layer" from among the Dalits and tribals from the reservation privileges has irked many political parties including Left and some allies of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

The list also includes the long-pending Pension Regulatory Fund Bill, Foreign Contribution Regulation Bill - to control the foreign contributions to non-governmental agencies - and Tribal Welfare Bill. The Left Front that supports the UPA government from outside has been opposing the pension bill saying it would not allow pension funds to be invested in the stock market.

The information and broadcasting ministry is bringing two bills - one to regulate cable TV networks and another to make it mandatory for foreign sports channels to share their feed with Doordarshan.

The winter session is also expected to discuss the startling revelations made in the Justice Rajinder Sachar committee report about the backwardness of the Muslim community in the socio-economic-educational sectors.

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