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Posted at: Mar 9, 2018, 1:21 AM; last updated: Mar 9, 2018, 1:21 AM (IST)

Oppn won’t budge, Houses paralysed

Seeking women quota

  • Members of Rajya Sabha pitched for expeditious passage of a Bill to provide 33% quota to women in Parliament and state Assemblies
  • Referring to International Women’s Day, RS Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said: “With women constituting about 50% of our population, social, economic and political empowerment of women, including providing reservation in Parliament and state legislatures, has to be accorded top priority for the country to achieve rapid progress”
  • The Bill has already been passed by Rajya Sabha and is pending in Lok Sabha
Oppn won’t budge, Houses paralysed
Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee (C) with TDP MPs during a protest at Parliament House, demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh, in New Delhi on Thursday. photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 8

Amid several protests, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day, making it the fourth consecutive day of protests and adjournments.

Members of various parties were agitated over several issues, including Nirav Modi’s bank scam, Cauvery water sharing and special status to Andhra Pradesh, among others. The Congress today did not join in with the protesters in the Lok Sabha.

At 11 am, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan read a message to mark International Women’s Day. She recited a couplet in Hindi which was appreciated by the House. Mahajan said she wished women across the world a happy women’s day. Protests erupted the minute Mahajan ended her brief message.

The Lok Sabha had reassembled on Monday from a recess to conduct the second half of the Budget session. Since then protests have marred the functioning of the House. The Budget session is slated to end on April 6.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which on Wednesday night withdrew its ministers from the NDA alliance, held placards asking the BJP to fulfil its obligations to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh.

Among other protesters, the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) wanted the Constitution to be amended to allow states to increase quota of reservation.

Two days ago, TRS boss K Chandrasekhar Rao had hinted at forming a non-BJP non-Congress third front. The AIADMK from Tamil Nadu protested seeking the immediate setting up of a board to manage waters of the Cauvery.

In Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien adjourned the House, minutes after it met at 2 pm, as the protesting members gathered near the podium, shouting slogans and carrying placards. The House witnessed similar scenes in the morning after a brief discussion on International Women’s Day, forcing its adjournment till 2 pm.

Soon after the House met in the morning, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu greeted the women members and through them all the women across the country and allowed members to speak on issues concerning women. Naidu expressed hope that the government will respect the sentiments of the House and take care of the unfulfilled agendas of women empowerment. He said the Women’s Reservation Bill should be accorded top priority and urged the political parties to refrain from politicising the issue.

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