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Speaker for unimous passage for women’s quota bill

Indore, Feb 19: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Sunday said the much awaited women’s reservation bill should be passed unimously and respectfully by Parliament. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the South Asian Speakers’ Summit here, Mahajan said: “Women’s reservation is needed definitely but that does not mean they are weak. They are as able as men… think like any men.” “But the demand for women’s reservation is only asserting their basic human, civil and political rights. They need equal opportunities,” she added.

She also hit out at those opposing women’s reservation in Parliament. “Some one tears up the pages while someone raises slogans. Such behaviour should not take place. All should unimously and respectfully pass the bill,” she said in an apparent reference to members who even attempted to physically attack Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari to disrupt its tabling.

The bill seeks to reserve one-third of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies. Introduced by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance-I government in May 2008, it also envisages one-third of the total number of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to be earmarked for women.

Similar bills have been introduced thrice earlier in the late 1990s but lapsed with the dissolution of the respective Lok Sabhas.

Last time, the bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in 2010 but could not be passed in the Lok Sabha. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita