Extending her party’s support to the women’s reservation bill, Congress parliamentary party chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday demanded that the quota be implemented immediately and SC, ST and OBC women also be given reservation following a caste census.
Initiating the debate on the bill from the opposition’s side, Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha that any delay in bringing the reservation into effect would be ”gross injustice” to Indian women.
”Rajiv Gandhi’s dream is only half fulfilled. It will be fulfilled with the passage of this bill. The Congress supports this bill. We will be happy with the passage of this bill but we also have a concern. I want to ask a question, for the last 13 years Indian women are waiting for their political responsibilities, and now they are being asked to wait for a few more years — two years, four years, six years, eight years,” the former Congress chief said.
Is such behaviour with Indian women appropriate, she asked.
”It is the demand of the Indian National Congress that the bill be immediately implemented… but along with that, provision should be made for the reservation of SC, ST, OBC women after conducting a caste census,” she said. The government, Gandhi told the House, should take the required steps for this. ”This is the most appropriate moment to acknowledge and thank women for their contribution,” she said.
”On behalf of the Indian National Congress, I demand from the government that the Narishakti Vandan Adhiniyam 2023 be implemented as soon as possible while clearing all roadblocks in its way. Doing this is not only necessary but also possible,” Gandhi said.
After the House proceedings began, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Wednesday moved the women’s reservation bill for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha, saying it is a step towards women empowerment.
The constitutional amendment bill was introduced in the Lower House on Tuesday. It was the first bill introduced in the new Parliament building.
The bill provides for 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. The reservation will come into effect only after the completion of the census and delimitation exercise.