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Reservation Bill needed for level-playing field: Najma Heptulla

Though both BJP and Congress have supported the bill, some regional parties have stridently opposed it

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Najma Heptullah
Najma Heptullah

Ahead of Parliament's Winter session, Union Minister Najma Heptulla today said she would like the Women's Reservation Bill to be passed in Lok Sabha as it was necessary to provide a "level-playing field" for women.

"I would like that bill to be passed," she told reporters after launching a report on the status of girls in India, which painted a grim picture of their condition as they continue to face widespread discrimination compared to boys.

The Minority Affairs Minister said the Narendra Modi government has taken a lot of decisions and the bill should be passed in Lok Sabha. It was passed in Rajya Sabha during the tenure of the previous UPA government.

When asked if the government will take up the bill in the Lower House during the upcoming session, which starts on November 24, she said the question should be put to the Parliamentary Affairs Minister.

Though BJP as well as opposition Congress have lent their support to the bill, some regional parties have stridently opposed it.

Heptulla said she was not earlier in favour of reservation for women but changed her stand after realising that they have no voice and nobody listens to them. "They require a level-playing field," she said.

She said her ministry was providing 33 pe rcent reservation for girls in all scholarships and had special programmes for improving the lot of women.

First Published: Wed, November 19 2014. 14:00 IST