Sonia urges Modi to get Women’s Bill passed in LS

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Sep 2017 08:53:48


Delhi Bureau & Agencies,


In a letter, she assures PM of Congress party’s support

The Bill was introduced many times. However, it could never be passed in any of the two Houses

CONGRESS President Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to get the Women’s Reservation Bill passed in the Lok Sabha by taking advantage of the BJP’s majority in the House.
In the letter dated September 20, Gandhi assured him of her party’s support to the legislation, which she said would be a significant step forward in the empowerment of women.

The Rajya Sabha had passed the Bill on March 9, 2010.
Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi later tweeted, “The Congress party has and will continue to support the Women’s Reservation Bill.” Speaking to reporters here, Congress women’s wing chief Sushmita Dev questioned the alleged delay by the Government in ensuring the passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha.

She asked Modi to assure the country’s women that the reservations would be implemented before 2019, when the next general elections will be held.
Meanwhile, a senior BJP leader said, the Government may introduce the Bill in Parliament. Top echelons of the Government and the party have been brainstorming over the Bill, which had polarised the political class whenever various governments introduced it earlier.

BJP leaders claimed that Gandhi was doing politics over the matter and said the UPA Government did not introduce the Bill in the Lok Sabha as it could not overcome opposition from within its own ranks.
Regional satraps like Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav opposed the Bill bitterly, demanding reservation for OBCs and minorities within the quota for women and also that the quantum of reservation should be far less than 33.33 per cent.

A strong view within the BJP is that if its Government succeeds in getting this constitutional amendment bill passed in Parliament, then it can upend conventional political faultlines and boost its prospects ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.
Reservation for women in local bodies already exists and have brought about positive changes, another BJP leader said.

The Bill was first introduced by the United Front Government in 1996 and then the Vajpayee Government tabled it a few times. However, it could never be passed in any of the two Houses on all these occasions.

The prospects of its passage brightened when the UPA Government tabled it in the Rajya Sabha in 2010 and managed to get it passed in the Upper House.
However, reluctance from some of its allies and Opposition from backward caste MPs from many parties meant that the Lok Sabha never took it up and it lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.