New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Monday expressed sincere hope that the controversial bill to provide 33 percent quota in state legislatures and parliament seats to women will be considered for passing by the Lok Sabha at the earliest.
The constitutional amendment bill that provided reservation for women in the legislative bodies was passed by Rajya Sabha in the last budget session March 9, 2010.
But it could not be put to vote in the Lok Sabha as there was no consensus among political parties on the bill in its present form.
Leaders like Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad and Janata Dal-United’s Sharad Yadav are opposed to the women’s reservation bill, as they want the government to provide for a quota within the quota for women from the backward castes and minorities.
The United Progressive Alliance government has the support of the ruling Congress and its allies, apart from the BJP and the Left parties, for the women’s quota legislation.
“My government had introduced a constitutional amendment bill to provide reservation for women in parliament and state legislatures. This has been passed by the Rajya Sabha and I hope sincerely that it will be considered by the Lok Sabha at the earliest,” Patil said in her address to a joint sitting of the two houses of parliament here at the start of the budget session.
Patil also noted that the government had introduced the Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill in parliament and that it also proposed to introduce a bill regarding protection of children from sexual offences.