Tuesday, March 09, 2010

after 12 long years of struggle,

Indian upper house approves women's quota bill

bbc, 9 march 2010

The upper house of India's parliament has approved a bill to reserve a third of all seats in the national parliament and state legislatures for women.

The bill was passed with 186 members of the 245-seat house voting in favour. Only one member voted against. Several smaller parties boycotted the vote.

The bill's introduction on Monday led to uproar from opponents, resulting in the suspension of seven MPs on Tuesday.

First proposed in 1996, the bill now has support from India's main parties.

...

The bill's passage through the upper house was marked by scenes of chaos after it was tabled on Monday.

Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley, speaking in parliament on Tuesday, said the uproar was "one of the most shameful moments in India's parliamentary democracy".

Earlier, seven MPs had been forcibly removed from the upper house by security guards, after they refused to leave having been suspended for disorderly behaviour.

The MPs had shouted slogans, snatched papers from Vice President Hamid Ansari's table, torn them and thrown them at him.

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