Mamata defends decision to abstain
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today defended her party's decision to abstain from voting on the Women's Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha but said she was in favour of the Constitutional amendment. 'Why no quota for women in Rajya Sabha?' | See graphics | Listen to podcastUpdated: Mar 10, 2010, 20:07 IST
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday defended her party's decision to abstain from voting on the Women's Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha but said she was in favour of the Constitutional amendment.
"Our party is committed to the Bill. We will do it," she told reporters outside Parliament.
But at the same time, she was critical of the "communication gap" before the Bill was put to vote in Rajya Sabha yesterday.
"In Rajya Sabha we have two members. We were not informed... there was communication gap," she said.
She said during the meeting of allies with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, it was decided to call for an all party meeting (on the Bill) where her party could also raise the issue of including minorities in women's reservation.
"But no (all party) meeting was called later. We had no information," Mamata said.
When pointed that Left was taking all the credit for the successful passage of the Bill in the Upper House, she said Left never wanted quota for women in the Rajya Sabha as it was against letting common women enter the Upper House.
"They only want their cadre to enter the Rajya Sabha. They do not want common women to enter the Upper House," Mamata said.
She also said her party has repeatedly asked quota for women in Rajya Sabha.
Yesterday, Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi had said his party chief wanted the views of the Dalits, OBCs and Muslims to be taken on board.
"But unfortunately that did not happen. Trinamool Congress is for debate and discussion," he said.