Highest priority to women’s quota bill: Sonia

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi told party MPs Thursday that she would accord the ‘highest priority’ to the women’s reservation bill that would be introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 8, International Women’s Day, party sources said after a Congress Parliamentary Party meeting here.

The food security bill would also be introduced in parliament in the ongoing session, Gandhi said while addressing the meeting.

She also praised Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for presenting a balanced budget, a Congress MP who was present said.

The 30-minute meeting started at 9.30 a.m.

The proposal for providing 33 percent reservation to women in legislatures has been pending for over 13 years — since 1996 when it was first brought to parliament by the H.D. Deve Gowda government.

In its present form, the Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill, 2008, has the backing of the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left. But it is being opposed by the Samajwadi Party, Rashtria Janata Dal and Janata Dal-United.

For the bill to be passed, it has to be supported by two-thirds of those present and voting. This figure should also be at least 50 percent of the total number of MPs in the house.

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