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33% quota for women in Parliament must: VP Singh

He was addressing women's groups who are holding a 17-day protest demonstration in New Delhi.
None | By Press Trust of India, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 26, 2006 04:04 PM IST

Backing the demand for 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies, former Prime Minister VP Singh on Wednesday said inclusion of women in decision-making bodies can help in forming effective policies in sectors like women and child development.

"I fully support the demand for one-third reservation for women in Parliament and Assemblies," VP Singh said.

He was addressing women's groups who are holding a 17-day protest demonstration in New Delhi demanding immediate tabling of the long-pending bill on 33 per cent reservation.

He said women have a better understanding of certain issues like rising prices and child education because they deal with them in their day-to-day life.

If they are allowed to form decisions on such matters, they can do it in a much better way, he added.

General Secretary of National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) Annie Raja criticised the UPA Government for its failure to introduce the bill in Parliament during the last two years despite assurance from the alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

"We are not against reservation to SC/STs but reservation to OBCs is not guaranteed within Constitution. Government should bring the bill first and all these things can be discussed thereafter," Raja said.

He further added most of the UPA partners who were earlier demanding reservations within reservation were now supporting them.

"If this (reservation for women) becomes a reality, 181 seats will go to women and this is against the patriarchal thinking of many of the parliamentarians," said NFIW Vice-president Pramila Lumba.

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