Vice prez calls upon political parties to reach consensus to give reservation to women

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (PTI) Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday pitched for ending low representation of women in Parliament and legislatures and called upon political parties to reach a consensus to provide them with due reservation.

Releasing a postal stamp brought out in memory of late Eashwari Bai, an educationist, social reformer and a former MLA, Naidu said although the 17th Lok Sabha has the highest number of 78 women members, they account only for 14 per cent of the total number.

Pointing out that reservation in the local bodies has politically empowered lakhs of women in the country, he said introducing reservation for women in Parliament and legislatures needs urgent attention and consensus of all political parties, an official statement said.

Expressing anguish over the increasing disruptions instead of meaningful discussions and debates in legislatures and Parliament, Naidu called upon all parliamentarians and other public representatives to raise the standards of debate in every forum.

Observing that the mantra for a healthy democracy is to discuss, debate and decide and not disrupt, the vice president said frequent disruption of Parliament and legislatures was tantamount to disrespecting people's mandate.

“Agree to disagree and be tolerant of the mandate of the people,” he underlined.

Naidu emphasised that it is the responsibility of both the ruling and opposition parties to ensure the effective functioning of legislatures.

The vice president also urged all political parties to adopt a consensual approach on matters of national importance like country's security, eliminating corruption and ensuring social justice.

He said there should be consensus on reforms to accelerate development, eliminate delays, diversions and dilutions in delivery of schemes and reaching out benefits to the needy.

“Similarly, all political parties must speak in one voice on empowering people, promoting transparency and accountability in the system”, he felt.

The vice president also urged all political parties to evolve a code of conduct for their members, particularly public representatives. PTI NAB AAR AAR