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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was ready to consult all parties for a consensus on the women's reservation bill before it is tabled in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Thursday.
"There is no harm in calling an all party meeting. The prime minister has pointed out that we can consult all parties (to arrive at a consensus) and for exploring ideas and possibilities to narrow down the differences," said Mukherjee, the leader of the house.
He was replying to a short discussion in the Lok Sabha over the government's flagship bill that seeks to reserve a third of all legislative seats in India for women.
The bill, which is vociferously opposed by the parties with mass base mainly in the Hindi heartland of north India, was cleared by the Rajya Sabha Tuesday. It is expected to be introduced in the Lok Sabha in coming days.
The legislation has led to frequent disruptions of the two houses of parliament. On Thursday as well, both houses were adjourned amid uproar over the bill.
Discussing the women's reservation bill in Lok Sabha today, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that government is open to debate on all issues before decision is made.
The opponents of the bill also had their say in the Parliament. JDU's Sharad Yadav, SP's Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD's Lalu Prasad Yadav raised their concern regarding the bill.
Saying that all MPs should comply with the rules of the house, Pranab Mukherjee said that representatives of all parties should meet to discuss the issue.
Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were later adjourned till 12 noon.