Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and Member of Parliament Priyanka Chaturvedi on Wednesday while reacting to the women’s reservation bill said that every political party was waiting for “this historic day”.
Chaturvedi expressed her sentiments while speaking to media, stating, “Every political party was waiting for this historic day. PM Modi had promised in 2014, it was mentioned in the BJP manifesto that as soon as the government comes to power, the Women`s Reservation Bill would be passed – it came after 9.5 years.”
The bill, which aims to reserve one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies for women, has been a topic of discussion for years. “All the Bills that become an Act, a law are implemented immediately. Unfortunately, when the Bill was presented, there was a term and condition that the Act would be passed but it would be implemented only when delimitation is done…So, you have given one more `jumla` to women – we have opened doors for you but you stay out the doors and we will give you an entry only when so and so work is done,” Chaturvedi remarked, referring to the condition that the bill`s implementation depends on the completion of delimitation.
Delimitation is the process of redrawing electoral boundaries, which is currently ongoing in several states. Critics argue that tying the Women`s Reservation Bill to this process further delays the representation of women in political bodies.
The delay in implementing the bill has sparked a debate among political leaders and women`s rights advocates. While it is seen as a significant step toward gender equality in politics, the controversy surrounding its implementation timelines continues to draw attention.
Amidst growing speculation regarding the Women`s Reservation Bill, Congress President and Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, spoke on the need to prioritize and implement the long-pending legislation.
Speaking to ANI, Kharge reminisced about past efforts, stating, “In 2010, we had passed the Bill in the Rajya Sabha. But it failed to be passed by the Lok Sabha. That is why, this is not a new Bill. Had they taken that Bill forward, it would have been done quickly by this day.”
Kharge expressed skepticism about the timing and intentions behind recent discussions on the Women`s Reservation Bill, suggesting that political motives might be at play. He remarked, “I feel that they are publicizing this in view of elections, but actually unless the delimitation or census takes place… you can feel how long it is going to take. They could have continued with the earlier one, but their intentions are something else.”
Despite his reservations, Kharge reiterated the Congress`s commitment to the cause of women`s reservation and emphasized the need to address the potential shortcomings in the proposed legislation. He affirmed, “But we will insist that women`s reservation has to be brought, and we will fully cooperate. But the loopholes and drawbacks should be rectified.”
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday said that the Congress was never serious about providing reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. The statement came after the government introduced a bill in this regard in the Lower House of Parliament.
The government introduced a constitutional amendment bill to reserve one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women, reviving the concept of women`s reservation pending for 27 years for want of consensus among parties.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the introduction of the bill in the Lok Sabha shows the “unwavering commitment” of the Narendra Modi government to empower women.
“Sadly, the opposition is unable to digest this. And, what is more shameful is that except tokenism, the Congress has never been serious about women`s reservation,” he posted on X. (Agencies)