‘No change in Women’s Bill’

Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal has ruled out any dilution in the women’s reservation bill that seeks to reserve one-third seats in state assemblies and the Lok Sabha for women notwithstanding opposition from parties like the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal (United). The opponents want a subquota for OBCs and minorities.

"There is no question of a dilution. It is hypothetical,’’ Bansal said when asked if the quota may be reduced to 20 percent to broaden its acceptance.

But the Congress central leadership is worried about the fate of-the bill, a part of its action plan for the first 100 days. Many in the Congress and the UPA believe that the Lok Sabha’s current composition provides them with the numbers to push the bill through. But they are also aware that the constitutional amendment bill, requiring a two--thirds majority in the House cannot be passed easily. "We will strive for a consensus," he said.

 

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