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Women's reservation bill uphill task: Sonia

Sonia Gandhi said she has to convince several people from within and outside the Congress on the issue.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2006 15:46 IST

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday hinted that passage of the women's reservation bill in Parliament would be an uphill task, saying that "she has to convince several people from within and outside the Congress" on the issue.

"I am trying my best. But you must keep in mind that I have to persuade (Union Ministers) Lalu Prasad, (Dayanidhi) Maran and (Anbumani) Ramadoss. I also have to convince some members of our party," she said while addressing a Congress Workers Convention in Chakur on Sunday afternoon.

"It is true that women got reservation in Panchayat bodies due to late Rajiv Gandhi," she said.

Referring to remarks made earlier during the function by Rajni Patil, Chairperson of the Central Social Welfare Board, on the issue of women'sreservation, Gandhi said, "I am also trying my best (for the passage of the bill)." Gandhi asked Congress workers to work hard and with dedication to make the party stronger.

"Party men are the real strength of the Congress. If you work with dedication, the party would be able to face the challenges ahead," she said.

Referring to demands made by various district Congress presidents of Marathwada region, she said she would make all efforts to redress their problems, including those faced by farmers.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, state Congress President Prabha Rau, party General Secretary in charge of Maharashtra Margaret Alva and Secretary Siddharth Patel were present on the occasion.

First Published: Oct 29, 2006 15:46 IST