Opposition BJP and the Left have unequivocally supported the Women's Reservation Bill describing it as "the most progressive", but slammed the government for mishandling the process of "historic" amendment to the Constitution.
The debate was taken up in the Rajya Sabha a day after the bill was moved for consideration but could not come up for discussion because of unruly scenes. After three adjournments and suspension and eviction of seven disruptive members, the House took up the debate amid vociferous protests from members of SP and RJD, who were opposing the historic bill and demanding withdrawal of the suspension order.
Participating in the debate on the Constitution Amendment Bill, that provides for 33 per cent reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and State assemblies, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said the measure was "historic".
"We are all discharging a historic responsibility in becoming instruments of enacting one of the most progressive legislations in recent Indian history. We are rewriting gender history," he said. Jaitley said his party extends support to the bill in an unequivocal way. However, perturbed by unsavoury incidents in the House where seven RJD, SP and an unattached member were suspended and marshalled out, he said, "We also hang our head in shame on some of the most shameful incidents."
Extending "unstinting and "unambiguous" support to the bill, Brinda Karat (CPI-M) rejected some of the objections raised by parties like RJD and SP. She said the measure would help empower women at all levels."