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Margaret Alva confident about passage of women's quota Bill

Staff Reporter

AICC General Secretary felicitated on getting first Nelson Mandela Award



FELICITATIONS: State Congress President M. Mallikarjun Kharge (left) and Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh felicitating AICC General Secretary Margaret Alva on her receiving the international Nelson Mandela Award, at a function in Bangalore on Saturday . — Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

BANGALORE: All-India Congress Committee General Secretary Margaret Alva on Saturday expressed confidence that the Women's Reservation Bill, providing for 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and legislatures, would be passed despite initial hurdles.

Speaking at a function organised here to felicitate her on being awarded the first Nelson Mandela Award for minority empowerment, she lauded the efforts of the late Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister, for initiating efforts to empower women in the country.

The former Union Minister said though the Bill had faced opposition from various quarters across all party lines, she is confident that with the emergence of Sonia Gandhi on the political scene, the Bill will be passed.

Ms. Alva attributed all her achievements to the party and her husband, Niranjan Alva, who, she said, stood by her in all her social and political activities.

Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, State Congress President M. Mallikarjun Kharge and others hailed the leadership qualities and services of Ms. Alva to the party, the State and the nation.

The function was organised by the Margaret Alva Women Fans' Association.

Mr. Kharge said Ms. Alva is blessed with an admirable "fighting nature, patience and courage that should lead her to the deserving higher position."

"She has to come forward with greater courage as she enjoys the support of the Congress. We should have organised the felicitation function, but her fans have gone ahead and organised this event," he said.

Mr. Dharam Singh said the Congress organised six district-level conventions after Mr. Kharge took over as KPCC President. Occasions like this come in handy for exhibiting unity in the party. "We gather, interact and hold consultations to strengthen the hands of our leader, Sonia Gandhi." Tracing Ms. Alva's political career, the former Union Minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief said her family had been very close to the late Indira Gandhi. "What is going on today is Margaret aradhane. Let her services be always available to the country, the State and the poor," he added. Congress Working Committee member Motamma presided over the function.

The president of the fans' association and Rajya Sabha member, Bimba Raiker, welcomed the gathering.

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