Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Monday expressed support to the demand for reserving 50 per cent seats for women in Parliament, State legislatures and all government bodies. “Empowering women leads to a more inclusive growth of society and the nation,” the Nationalist Congress Party’s leader said addressing a rally at the regional NCP women’s convention here.
“Reservation will pave the way to bringing women on a par with their male counterparts in the decision-making process at the grass root level. Women have a better understanding of social issues and better representation gives them an opportunity to address these issues,” he said.
A matter of pride
Reaffirming the resolve to provide 50 per cent reservation, Member of Parliament Supriya Sule said: “It is a matter of great pride that Maharashtra was the first State to introduce 33 per cent reservation under the leadership of the then Chief Minister [Mr. Pawar] for women in the local bodies in the early 1990s. There were many people who opposed it at that time. Even today when there is widespread demand to reserve 50 per cent seats, we have to face opposition but we will work towards the goal of bringing equality in society by seeking 50 per cent quota in not just all local bodies but the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha as well.”
Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil said: “The woman who can run her household with intelligence and compassion can do a better job at running a nation than a man… We will not rest until there is 50 per cent reservation in Parliament.” NCP’s agenda is to have social transformation , we don’t believe in cleaning Mumbai by demolishing poor man’s house in slums. It is the struggle of the working class that leads to development of this city and women’s participation ensures social development, “he added. Mr Patil appealed the women to out of their homes and join politics for participation.
Maharashtra Government announced 50 per cent reservation for women in local self-government bodies by amending the amendment to the Bombay Village Panchayats Act 1958 and Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samiti Act 1961 facilitates enhancing reservation from 33 per cent of the total seats to 50 per cent as members of the village panchayats and panchayat samitis, councilors of the zilla parishads and offices of sarpanch and president of the zilla parishads and chairpersons of the panchayat samitis.