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Parties should earmark 33% seats for women: NDA
August 24, 2005 18:44 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance opposition on Wednesday suggested that political parties should earmark 33% of the tickets for women in a bid to resolve the impasse over the Women's Reservation Bill.
With consensus eluding the bill seeking to provide 33% reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies, the main opposition BJP said it favoured the Election Commission's formula of distributing 33% of the tickets to women.
At a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and convened to evolve a consensus on the vexed issue, opposition political parties by and large accepted the EC formula, senior BJP leader V K Malhotra told reporters.
He said if all parties accepted their suggestion, there would be no need to amend the constitution and the Representation of Peoples Act could be modified for the purpose.
Malhotra said even Janata Dal-United, which was a strong votary for quota within quota for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes' women, agreed to BJP's suggestion.
However JD(U), represented by party chief George Fernandes and Nitish Kumar, said that if the bill was introduced in its original form, it would demand sub-quota for women belonging to these categories, Malhotra said.
Asked whether BJP, which was all through supporting the original bill, accepted the EC formula, Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete, who attended the meeting, said BJP leader Sushma Swaraj was of the view that at least 20 to 25% of the women candidates would get elected.
At present there are hardly eight percent women representatives in the Lok Sabha. Arun Sarma of the Asom Gana Parishad said there was a consensus on the EC formula of political parties necessarily providing 33% tickets to women.
He said most of the opposition political parties were opposed to the increase in the total number of seats in Parliament to accommodate women. The meeting was attended by NDA chairperson and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, BJP President Lal Kishenchand Advani and senior party leader Jaswant Singh.
Also, Prime Minsiter Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad attended the meeting.