My election is a historic decision: Meira Kumar (Lead)

June 3rd, 2009 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) Calling her election as the first woman speaker of the Lok Sabha a “historic decision”, Meira Kumar said here Wednesday that she would be impartial and give equal opportunity to all members to express their views.
“It will be my endeavour that I am completely impartial in my conduct and I give opportunity to all the members to express their views,” Meira Kumar said, addressing her first press conference after being elected speaker of the lower house of parliament.

“It was a historic decision to elect a woman speaker. It is the first time that a woman has been elected to this august position. I am deeply honoured that I have been elected the first woman speaker of the great and vibrant democracy that we have,” she added.

“I am happy to inform you that in this 15th Lok Sabha, the number of women has increased. It is 58. The number has never been this high.

“Two years ago, we elected a woman president for the first time and today a woman speaker has been elected for the first time. These are not just symbolic gestures. These are indicators of a genuine intention today to make the position of women stronger in India,” Meira Kumar said.

“When the time arises for national issues to be discussed then all the party leaders and members should rise above party considerations,” she added.

On a question related to Women’s Reservation Bill, the speaker said: “I have a strong desire that the bill is passed in the Lok Sabha. I hope all the parties arrive at a conclusion. It could not be passed in the 14th Lok Sabha since parties failed to reach unanimity on it.

“I am really concerned over the suspension of the house following disruptions by the members and would be talking to all parties that how we can increase the working hours of the parliament. We will make sure that the government’s money does not get wasted.

“I will make sure that the house is conducted in the best possible manner. We wil try to work on the problem of the house passing bills without discussions,” she said.

When asked how she is as a person, Meira Kumar said: “I get angry but don’t cry. My favourite book is poet Kalidas’s ‘Abhigyan Shakuntalam’ that I have read several times and am reading even now.”

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