Congress, BJP issue whip for Women's Reservation Bill

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Congress, BJP issue whip for Women's Reservation Bill
New Delhi:  The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have issued a whip in the Rajya Sabha asking all their MPs to vote for the Women's Reservation Bill. The Bill is scheduled to come up in the Rajya Sabha on March 8.

It has been on the agenda for a very long time, yet the Women's Reservation Bill has not become a reality. But this time it seems to have crossed a final hurdle towards becoming a reality.

In her address to Parliament on the first day of this session, President Pratibha Patil announced the bill would be passed this time. And with the numbers on its side, the Congress is hopeful that the bill, to be presented in Rajya Sabha on International Women's Day on Monday will sail through.

Over the years this bill has had supporters and detractors. Sonia Gandhi, Sushma Swaraj and Brinda Karat have openly argued in favour of it. While Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Yadav and Sharad Yadav have famously fought against it.

But despite BJP's whip in favour of women's reservation in Parliament, will it be all that easy to pass the Bill, which has invited opposition from several political parties over the years?

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Yadav has already met the Prime Minister and asked for an all-party meeting to discuss the issue. (Watch Lalu on women's bill)

Seems like the political game changer, Women Reservation Bill, has entered the penultimate round.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has told MPs that the quota Bill will be a gift to women on March 8, the 100th International Women's Day.

So government's floor managers are counting support and preparing for a showdown. (Read Women's quota: The numbers game)

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