Sonia to lead protest march on women's bill | india | Hindustan Times
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Sonia to lead protest march on women's bill

Cong president will lead a march to Parliament to press for the passage of a women's bill in Parliament.

india Updated: Jul 21, 2003 15:34 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will lead a march to Parliament on Monday to press for the early passing of a bill seeking to reserve a third of seats in Parliament and state legislatures for women.

Gandhi, who is leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, will begin the march from Jantar Mantar, a medieval observatory about a kilometre from Parliament House where political parties re-assemble for a month-long session beginning on Monday.

However, Delhi Police sources say she would have to stop only a few metres ahead as no demonstrations are allowed beyond a fixed radius around the Parliament complex.

A meeting of four political parties called by Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi this week failed to back the long-delayed quota bill. It however discussed an alternative that calls for 181 (a third of the 545-member Lok Sabha) extra seats for women so that the number of male MPs would not be disturbed.

The proposal calls for one male MP and one woman MP for each of the 181 seats. While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Partyclaimed a consensus for this alternative, the Congress and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) have denied favouring it.