BSP, SP boycott women’s quota bill meet (Lead)

June 22nd, 2011 - 4:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Meira Kumar New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar Wednesday called an all-party meeting to discuss the women’s reservation bill, but the parties opposing the measure remained firm in their stance, with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) boycotting the meeting.

The bill that provides for 33 percent reservation for women in parliament and the state assemblies is being opposed by the SP, BSP, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) who want a quota within the quota for women from Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

“Our stand remains unchanged, but if the government gives some fresh proposal, we will consider it,” said a spokesperson from the JD-U, whose Lok Sabha leader Ram Sundar Das attended the meeting.

“Our stand has been the same since day one, we want a reservation for OBC women, and we will stand by it,” a senior RJD leader told IANS.

The four parties have been strongly opposing the bill ever since it was presented in and passed by the Rajya Sabha. While BSP walked out of the upper house before the voting last March, marshals had to be called in to take out some protesting members from the other three parties, creating unruly scenes in the house.

The bill has the support of the ruling Congress and its allies in the United Progressive Alliance, the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left parties.

While leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and senior leader L.K. Advani represented the BJP at the meeting, the CPI-M was represented by Basudeb Acharia.

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