Hyderabad: The Centre is holding discussions with all stakeholders on the issue of providing 50 per cent reservation to women in local bodies across the country, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said today. “The Government of India is thinking seriously and holding discussions with all the stakeholders to provide 50 per cent reservation to women in the local bodies,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
The Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister said states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have already given 50 per cent reservation to women and “we want it to happen at the national level”.
The rural development ministry is working on the issue of women reservation in panchayats, Naidu said, adding that “the urban development and rural development ministry is holding consultation. Once the consultation is finalised we will move in that direction.”
“Before doing so we would like to take all the stakeholders into confidence and create broad consensus,” he said. Reacting to a query, Venkaiah said there is no consensus as far as women’s reservation in Assembly and Parliament are concerned.
“Every party is saying they are committed but when it comes to passing the bill there are obstructions,” he said. “But, about the reservation in legislative bodies that has to be done only after evolving consensus. We are moving in that direction. Our government is committed to take this forward and we are holding discussions. As and when broad consensus emerges, we will take that also forward,” he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to empower women. “By starting with ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padao’…and he also wants to empower them by giving them the needed financial support and provide them with social security measures,” the senior BJP leader said.