Sunday, Jul 20, 2003
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By Neena Vyas
The BJP has thus given the green signal for a new bill on women's reservation, but whether this will get the required political support remains to be seen. In a resolution adopted on the second day of its national executive committee meeting here, the party stated its commitment to political reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies since its Vadodara national council session in 1994.
It said it fully supported the bill in its present form (reserving 33 per cent of all Lok Sabha seats for women), it had backed the Election Commission proposal that it be made mandatory for political parties to select 33 per cent women candidates, but neither of these proposals were acceptable to all parties. While stating its commitment to political empowerment of women, the BJP pointed out that the "double-member constituencies" proposal would actually increase women's representation in legislatures to 33 per cent unlike in the EC proposal where there was no certainty that women candidates would win.
Under the new proposal, 33 per cent of Lok Sabha seats will have two MPs, one in the general open category and one in the reserved category for women. A similar pattern was recommended for State Assemblies.
The resolution urged the NDA Government to take necessary action and introduce a suitable constitutional amendment bill in Parliament and State legislatures.
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