Asserting that it was determined to ensure passage of Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament, BJP on Saturday sought to make political capital on the issue by stating that since the UPA coalition was in minority in Rajya Sabha, the onus of getting it adopted was with the main opposition.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Saturday convened an emergency meeting of the party Core Group to discuss Women's Reservation Bill which is set to be tabled in Rajya Sabha on March 8.
"The Core Group unanimously decided to ensure passage of the Constitution Amendment providing for one-third reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies," Gadkari said in a statement. BJP has already issued a three-line whip to its Rajya Sabha MPs to be present and vote for the Bill in the Upper House on Monday.
"The BJP is determined to ensure the passage of this Bill. The Bill shows national aspiration and society has been waiting for it for the last 15 years," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.
He said since the government is in a minority in Rajya Sabha, BJP understands that it would have to play an important role in getting the Women's Reservation Bill passed there.
When informed that some political parties wanted a consensus to be built on the Bill before it was passed, Jaitley said, "Consensus building can be tried only upto a reasonable period of time. The numbers in favour of this Bill are overwhelming".
When asked if some of the NDA allies and even sections within the BJP were opposed to the Bill, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said, "On many issues in every party there are differences but in a Parliamentary democracy there is a provision of whip". She maintained that BJP allies had a right to differ.
"The fact that they are other parties means there are differences on some issues. Else we would all be in one party," she said. Swaraj said Women's Reservation was a dream of two senior most BJP leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani. "BJP first mooted the idea of this Bill in 1995 in its National Council at Vadodara," she said.
The NDA government had also moved this Bill in Lok Sabha but it could not be passed due to strong opposition from some parties. PTI