Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Saturday said the "mentality" of north India and Parliament seems not conducive yet to giving reservations to women in the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies.
He made the remarks at a programme organised by the Pune Doctors' Association where he and his daughter and Lok Sabha MP Supriya Sule were interviewed.
Replying to a question on the Women's Reservation Bill, which aims to reserve 33 per cent seats in Lok Sabha and all state legislative assemblies for women which is yet to be passed, and whether this shows the country is still not mentally ready to accept the women leadership, Mr Pawar said he has been speaking on this issue in Parliament since he was Congress MP in Lok Sabha.
"The 'mansikta' (mentality) of Parliament, especially of North India, has not been conducive (on this issue). I can recall that when I was Lok Sabha MP in Congress, I used to talk about the issue of reservations for women in Parliament. Once after completing my speech, I turned back and saw that majority of MPs from my party got up and left. This means even for people from my party, it was not digestible," he added.
The former Union minister said all (parties) should keep trying to get the bill passed.
"When I was the chief minister of Maharashtra, reservations for women in local bodies like Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti were introduced. It was opposed initially but later people accepted it," he added.
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