Congress mull over how to get Women Reservation Bill passed in Parliament

June 9th, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Ambika Soni

By Pankaj Yadav

New Delhi , June 9 (ANI): Senior Congress leaders, mostly women parliamentarians from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, today met at AICC headquarters under the chairmanship of Pranab Mukherjee to ponder over the Womens Reservation Bill which was introduced in the RS during the last Budget Session of the Parliament.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee perhaps chaired the meeting in his capacity of the Leader of Lok Sabha.

After the meeting, AICC spokesperson Jayanti Natrajan said that the meeting was organized to enable the party leaders to express their views on how the Bill could be passed in the Parliament.

We stick to our earlier stand, which is also mentioned in the original Bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha, over Women Reservation Bill, she told media persons.

She added that now the Congress president Sonia Ganhhi would write a letter to the parliamentary Standing Committee which is already pondering over the Bill, mentioning the partys stance over the Bill.

Soon after the meeting, Pranab headed to meet Sonia to apprise her about the developments at the meeting.

Besides Pranab, among those who were present at the meeting, included union ministers Ambika Soni, Kumari Shekja, Panabaka Lakshmi, Lok Sabha MP Kirishna Tirath, Rajya Sabha MP and party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vlayar Ravi, and his deputy V Narayanasami.

Coming out of the meeting, Kumari Shelja said that the meeting was held to give a platform to the women leaders of the Congress a platform to express their views as to how the Bill could be passed amicably in both the Houses of the Parliament. This meeting assumed significance as it was the first time we were meeting after the Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha. The important thing to be noted is that intentionally the Bill was introduced in Rajya, so that it didnt lapse at any later stage, she said.

President of party womens wing Prabha Thakur said that todays meeting was a step further to realize the dream of Rajiv Gandhi who first propounded the idea of extending 33 percent reservation to the women from panchayati raj level to the parliament. She also said that the partys view of granting one-third reservation to the women was clear from the fact the Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha, so that it doesnt lapse, as in case when a Bill is introduced in the Lok Sabha. (ANI)

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