Leaders from 13 Opposition parties attended a round-table conference held by BRS MP K Kavitha here and unanimously demanded the introduction of the Women's Reservation Bill in the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament.
Some of the parties, including the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), demanded that there should be a quota for women from backward classes and scheduled castes within the legislation seeking to reserve one-third of seats for women in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies.
During discussions at the meeting, also attended by civil society members, Kavitha said she and her party -- the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) -- firmly believe that along with reservation for women, work should also be done on the "quota within quota".
In the past, the SP and the RJD had demanded that the bill should have a quota for women from backward classes and scheduled castes.
CPI MP Binoy Viswam, DMK MP T Sumathy, SP MP ST Hasan, JMM MP Mahua Manji, RJD MP Manoj Jha, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, AAP MP Raghav Chadha, and RSP MP NK Premachandran were among those who attended the meeting.
Participating in the discussion, both Hasan and Jha raised the demand for reservation within the reservation for women in Lok Sabha.
"We support the Women's Reservation Bill, but there should be reservation for women from backward, scheduled castes within this reservation," Hasan said, a view also shared by Jha and leaders from other parties.
Speaking at the conference, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said the founders of the Constitution believed in the representation of women with the right to vote. However, on many relevant subjects, women have been denied their rights, she claimed.
Sharing her views, Kavitha said for the overall development and growth of the country and society, women should be given a bigger role in decision-making.
The message is clear from this platform that political parties, particularly from the Opposition, are in support of the Women's Reservation Bill and it is the government that is not taking any initiative, she said.
Last week, Kavitha had sat on a day-long hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar here, demanding the introduction of the bill in the current Budget session of Parliament.