After President Pratibha Patil declared that the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in the parliament is among the top ten priorities of Prime Minister Manamohan Singh’s government, women politicians are hopeful that their 14-year-old demand will be fulfilled soon.
“Women have been waiting for this since the last fourteen years. We have heard many assurances but we hope that this time the government is going to deliver on the assurance. As far as my party is concerned, 100 percent support is assured the day they bring the bill into parliament for passage,” Communist Party of India politburo member Brinda Karat said.
Karat also said that the 50 percent reservation for women in village governing bodies, Panchayats should be implemented at national level.
Congress party leader Girja Vyas said the women’s reservation bill is on top of the Congress led government’s agenda.
“The manifestos of many political parties talk about women empowerment. Especially the Congress Party has it in their manifesto. It is in the 100 days agenda of the party so it has to be fulfilled,” Vyas said.
Amar Singh, general secretary of regional Samajwadi Party, however, echoed the sentiments of his party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Yadav had said that his party would not be able to support the bill in its present structure.
“With the present structure of the bill, we will not be able to support it. The government may still pass it because they have the required number. But we will not support it. The careers of many establish leaders will be destroyed as their seats can be lost due to women reservation,” Singh said.