14-year exile of women’s quota bill set to end: Sushma

Raipur, March 7 (IANS) Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said Sunday that her Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would ensure the end of the ’14-year exile’ of the women’s reservation bill in parliament.

‘The BJP will ensure the bill sails through smoothly in the Rajya Sabha Monday. The party has issued a whip to its members to favour the bill and end the 14-year exile of the bill that was first moved in parliament when H.D. Deve Gowda became the prime minister in 1996,’ the BJP leader told newsmen here at the New Circuit House.

She contended that the BJP had always favoured the women’s reservation bill and the BJP-headed National Democratic Alliance government under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee tried hard to pass the measure but did not get desired support from other parties. ‘Women’s empowerment is the need of the hour,’ she added.

She claimed that the political parties had realised importance of the bill after the BJP passed a resolution regarding reservation to women in parliament and in state assemblies at its national convention in 1994 held in Vadodara.

Asked to comment on opposition to the bill by one of the NDA allies, Janata Dal-U (JD-U), she remarked: ‘Whatever the protest was from JD-U side is now over after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s announcement in support of the bill.’

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