AMARAVATI: The bill to provide reservation to women in Parliament and state assemblies will be passed once the Modi government gets a majority in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday.
He gave this assurance while addressing the National Women's Parliament (NWP) here.
"The day is not far when Parliament will have to pass a law providing reservation for women in Parliament and assemblies. This is on the mind of the Prime Minister," he told the huge gathering of women.
"Once we get a majority in the Rajya Sabha, we will pass the bill," said the Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Urban Development. He stressed the need for a broad consensus on the issue.
The minister was referring to the bill which proposes to amend the Constitution to reserve 33 percent of all seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women.
The bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha in 2010 but it lapsed following the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.
Naidu said political reservation was only a part of women empowerment and called for their empowerment in economy, education and other sectors.
He described self-help groups of women as a powerful tool to empower women.
He lauded Andhra Pradesh for having the largest number of self-help groups.
The minister claimed that the NDA government was giving priority to women in all government schemes.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said his Telugu Desam Party was the first to demand 33 per cent reservation for women in legislative bodies.
The three-day convention is being attended by over 10,000 women delegates from across the country and abroad. They include women MLAs, MPs and businesswomen.
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Bangladesh Parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Puducherry Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi and actress Manisha Koirala were present at the inaugural session.