From Our Special
NEW DELHI, Sep 20: Meghalaya’s lone woman parliamentarian, Agatha Sangma on Wednesday demanded reservation of seats for women in Rajya Sabha along with the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
Making her maiden speech in the new parliament, she also demanded that the women’s reservation bill should reserve a minimum of 33 per cent of seats in the legislative houses instead of fixing it at 33 per cent.
This will leave scope for expansion of the women’s quota in future, if need be, Agatha said.
She also profusely thanked leaders across party lines including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, CPM leader Brinda Karat, and late BJP minister Sushma Swaraj for whom the three-decades-old bill could see the light of the day.
But at the same time, she lamented that Meghalaya, despite being a matrilineal state, has only three women MLAs. From the entire eight Northeastern states in the present Lok Sabha there are only four women MPs, she pointed out.
Lok Sabha nod to bill
The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill granting reservation to women on one-third seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies with near unanimity.