In the 2018 assembly polls, the Congress had won 114 seats, BJP 109 seats and seven seats had gone to others.
Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday led her party charge during the debate on Women’s Reservation Bill named Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam 2023. During the discussion in Lok Sabha, the Congress leader extended her party’s support to the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam 2023, saying the Bill will fulfill her late husband and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s dream.
“On behalf of Indian National Congress, I stand in support of Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam 2023”, the Congress parliamentary party chief said in Lok Sabha.
During his tenure, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had brought in a constitutional amendment to increase women’s representation in local body election.
“It was defeated in Rajya Sabha by 7 votes. Later, Congress Govt, under the leadership of PM PV Narasimha Rao, passed it in Rajya Sabha. As a result, we have 15 lakh elected women leaders across the country through local bodies. Rajiv Gandhi’s dream is only partially complete. It will complete with the passing of this Bill”, Sonia Gandhi told the Lok Sabha.
If passed, the Women’s Reservation Bill will provide 33 per cent of reservation to women in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies. However, the implementation of the 33 per cent quota to women is likely to take a few more years.
The Congress leader raised her concerns regarding the likely delay and demanded the Centre to implement the Bill with immediate effect.
“We are happy regarding the passing of the Bill but we are also concerned. I would like to ask a question. Indian women have been waiting for their political responsibilities for the last 13 years. Now they are being asked to wait for a few more years. How many years? Is this behaviour with Indian women appropriate?” she asked.
Gandhi also asked the government to carry out a Caste based census and include SC, ST and OBC women in the Bill.
“INC demands that the Bill be implemented with immediate effect but Caste census should also be done and arrangement for reservation of SC, ST and OBC women should be made”, Gandhi added.