Cutting across party lines, women legislators today joined hands in the Bihar Assembly to demand reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures on the occasion of International Women's Day.
As the House met for the day, women legislators of all major parties - JD(U), BJP, RJD and Congress - trooped into the well of the House and raised slogans in support of their demand for reservation in Parliament and state legislatures considering the fact that they formed nearly half of the country's population.
Ranju Geeta, Lesi Singh, Sunita Singh Chauhan, Kavita Singh, Poonam Yadav (all JD-U), Prema Chaudhary, Ejiya Yadav (RJD), Bhagirathi Devi, Gayatri Devi (BJP) and Amita Bhushan (Congress) among others who raised the demand for women's reservation in the House.
Women legislators, who trooped into the well of the House, carrying placards and raised slogans for reservation for around ten minutes before occupying their respective seats at the request of the Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary.
Choudhary said that there was a unanimity that women should get their rights but their demand could be raised in Parliament and not in this House.
Earlier Speaker Choudhary, who appreciated their sentiment, announced that the questions of women would be taken up first on a priority basis during Question Hour with the consent of all the members.
On RJD's Bhola Yadav's demand that the presiding officer should also be a woman on the occasion of International Women's Day, Choudhary announced that it had already been decided that Ranju Geeta (JDU) would preside over the proceedings of the House for the day in his absence.
Women legislators, who raised questions during question hour, got assurances from respective ministers to get their work done.
Later, the Speaker rejected the adjournment motion moved by RJD's Shakti Singh Yadav and Samir Kumar Mahaseth for a debate on according special category status to Bihar.
"The issue has nothing to do with a particular party....it is in the interest of the state. Now there is NDA governments both at the Centre and state and hence the House should unanimously send a recommendation to the Centre for according special category status," Yadav said.
The Speaker said that there was no point in moving the adjournment motion on the issue on which the House had already sent its resolution unanimously earlier.
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