NEW DELHI: The CPI(M) today made a strong plea for the passage of the women's reservation bill in the Lok Sabha, saying it should be brought now so that it can be implemented before the International Women's Day next year.
Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, CPI(M) member P K Sreemathy Teacher also exhorted Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to intervene and ask the government to bring the bill in the Lower House so that it can be implemented before March 8, 2019.
The bill, which seeks to provide one-third reservation to women in Parliament and legislative assemblies, has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha and awaits the Lok Sabha's nod.
The law was necessary to ensure equal rights for Indian women who do not get equal opportunity, she said, adding that the BJP-led government had made many promises about women, but these were not reflected in action, she said amid support by other members.
Women occupy only 11.7 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha and there is "gender imbalance" in the state assemblies as well, the senior CPI(M) member said.
"Don't deny women equal oppurtunity," she said, pitching for the expeditious passage of the law. Raising other issues, Vijay Hansdak (JMM) said tribals should not be counted among Hindus but as followers of the 'Saran' religion.
Ranjeet Ranjan (Congress) spoke about monsoon deficit in large parts of Bihar and said a massive drought has hit the state.
She demanded that the state be declared drought-hit.
Shankar Prasad Dutta, CPI(M) member from Tripura, displayed in the House what he called "rotten flour" being sold at fair price shops in the BJP-ruled state.
He said that daily wages given to the labourers has plunged to Rs 300-400 from earlier Rs 600-800 and people were leaving the state in search of livelihood.
Harish Meena (BJP) blamed lack of government jobs due to privatisation for the unrest in many parts of India and demanded for reservation by several communities.
Shiv Sena member Vinayak Raut demanded 'Bharat Ratna' for Dadasaheb Phalke, saying his pioneer works led to the rise of the Hindi film industry.
He has not got his due respect and should be honoured by the 'Bharat Ratna', India's highest civilian honour, Raut said.
RJD's Shailesh Kumar Mandal raised the issue regular and massive traffic jams at NH-80 in Bhagalpur in Bihar and said the two-lane road should be broadened between Munger and Mirzapur.
Several members from Bihar supported his demand.