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All party meet on delimitation of constituencies
October 13, 2006 14:22 IST
An all party meeting convened by the government Friday took up the contentious issue of delimitation of constituencies to evolve a broad-based consensus. The meeting, convened by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, is also expected to deliberate on the long-pending Women's Reservation Bill which has eluded unanimity over the years.
While the Left parties favour the move recommended by the Delimitation Commission, questions have been raised by some others.
On the Women's Bill, an approach paper for the meet has given options like raising the number of seats in Parliament and state assemblies by one-third, dual membership constituencies and rotation among them, but the Left is stoutly against any increase in the number of seats.
There have been concerns that the current delimitation exercise coupled with reservation of seats for women would leave less than 250 seats in the Lok Sabha for the general category.
The meeting is being held in the backdrop of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hoping to bring the Women's Reservation Bill in the winter session of Parliament, and a demand from the Left parties that it should be brought in its original form.
On the women's bill, different political parties have their own agendas, with some wanting the raising of seats while some stoutly demanding that the seats should not be less than 33 per cent for women.
Besides Mukherjee, Union Ministers Shivraj Patil, Sharad Pawar, P R Dasmunsi, H R Bhardwaj, T R Baalu, Oscar Fernandes and Shibu Soren are attending the meeting.
Leaders of political parties who participated included Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Sharad Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, K Yerrannaidu, Mehbooba Mufti, Dinesh Trivedi and Busedeb Acharia.