Here is what various Parties told the Parliamentary committee on Women’s Reservation

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Congress President Sonia Gandhi wrote to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to get the Women’s reservation bill passed in the Lok Sabha. When the bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in 2008 and subsequently referred to a Parliamentary standing committee, this is what various political parties told the committee.

 The Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008 that sought to amend the constitution to reserve seats for women in the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly of every State was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in May 2008. It was subsequently referred to the departmental standing committee on Law & Justice that submitted its report in December 2009. Most of the political parties conveyed their stand on this issue in writing to the standing committee. Here is what the major political parties told the committee.

What did the bill say?

Among other things, the bill sought to do the following

  • To reserve 1/3rd seats of the present strength of the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies to Women
  • To reserve 1/3rd seats within the seats reserved for SCs & STs to Women of those categories
  • To provide reservation for women in nominations of members of Anglo-Indian community to the Lok Sabha & State Assemblies
  • That the reservation of seats will cease to exist after 15 years of the enactment of the bill

The committee invited comments from various quarters including the political parties. Below is a gist of what major political parties told the committee.

BJP

  • Supports the proposed Women Reservation Bill and shall cooperate in getting this Bill adopted
  • Firmly reject the demand of Quota within Quota
  • If a consensus view emerges among all political parties on any other formula other than the existing Bill to give reservation to women, party is ready to discuss once a formal draft is ready
  • Wants the issue to be taken up immediately without any delay

Congress

  • Supports the Bill as it has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha
  • Willing to go with the consensus that may evolve amongst the various political parties regarding lowering the number of seats and reservation within reservation of the seats

CPI (M)

  • Supports the bill and 1/3rd reservation for Women
  • Supports quota within quota
  • Submitted alternate proposals for quota within party lists
  • Wants the issue to be taken up immediately without any delay

BSP

  • The bill should be passed only when separate 1/3rd reservation is made for women belonging to SCs & STs in addition to the existing provision of reservation for SCs & STs

AIADMK

  • There should be no delay in passing the bill
  • Supports quota within quota
  • Reserved constituencies should be rotated once every 10 years

CPI

  • Supports the bill and there should be no dilution
  • Does not support quota within quota except for SCs & STs as provided in the constitution

DMK

  • Supports the bill in the current form
  • Considering the issue of quota for OBC women within the overall women quota will only delay the bill

INLD

  • Intent behind the bill is laudable, but issue needs handling by other means rather than a constitutional amendment
  • Recognized National & Regional parties should give at least 1/3rd tickets to women at all levels

IULM

  • Supports the bill
  • It should be passed immediately without any delay
  • If & when possible, quota within quota should be explored through amendments

JD (U)

  • Reservation for Women bill is a conspiracy against the backward classes of society
  • There should be separate share of seats for women from BCs, religious minorities etc.
  • Before the women bill is taken up, 27% of the seats in Lok Sabha & State Assemblies should be reserved for OBCs

NCP

  • Supports the bill
  • There should be no further delay
  • Does not find any reason for special quota for OBC within women quota

 RJD

  • Supports reservation for women but not the bill in the current form
  • There must be quota for women from OBC, minorities within the women quota
  • No specific constituency should be earmarked for women, but be left to the party
  • Decision on this issue should not be taken in haste

SP

  • Does not support the bill in its current form
  • There must be quota for OBC & Muslim women if reservation is to be given
  • Consensus should be arrived at before taking a decision
  • Decision on this issue should not be taken in haste
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