Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

On Women’s Reservation Bill

The passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill has once again been obstructed in the Lok Sabha. The BJP-led government had stated its intention to get the bill discussed and passed. It had the support of most of the major parties represented in parliament including the Congress, the Left parties, the TDP and others. Taken together with the BJP, their MPs constitute three-fourths of the Lok Sabha. Yet, the government failed to ensure the bill was taken up for consideration and adoption. The main responsibility for this lies with the Vajpayee government which utterly failed to stand by its commitment.

Referring the matter to the speaker to decide on the issue is abdicating its responsibility as the ruling party. Those who opposed the bill have sought to block women’s representation by giving out spurious arguments. Reservation for women through the democratic electoral system would have ensured that women from all strata get representation in the legislatures and parliament.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) reiterates its firm support for women’s reservation as formulated in the Constitution amendment bill. All parties should abide by the democratic process of decision making in parliament to decide the fate of the bill.