Women's Reservation Bill: Congress Calls its Their Own
Sonia Gandhi commented about Women's Reservation Bill on Tuesday, amid ongoing speculation regarding its potential presentation in Parliament.
NEW DELHI: In a significant development, Sonia Gandhi of the Congress party, called the Women's Reservation Bill their own on Tuesday. Her statement came amid growing speculation regarding the possible presentation of the bill in Parliament.
The Congress party had previously expressed its support for the reported move, highlighting its long-standing demand for the bill's enactment. When questioned about the bill as she entered Parliament on Tuesday, Sonia Gandhi firmly stated, "It is ours, apna hai."
A day earlier, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh took to social media to express the party's welcoming stance regarding the reported decision of the Union Cabinet, eagerly anticipating further details of the bill. Ramesh also emphasized the potential for prior discussions during the all-party meeting before the Special Session, suggesting that consensus-building could have taken place instead of operating under a shroud of secrecy.
In a coordinated effort, he reiterated his party colleague Rahul Gandhi's message from 2018 on social media platform X, highlighting the issue of the Women's Reservation Bill. Rahul Gandhi's letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the time, offered unconditional support for the bill's passage.
Rahul Gandhi's letter read, "Our PM [Prime Minister] says he’s a crusader for women’s empowerment. Time for him to rise above party politics, walk his talk and have the Women’s Reservation Bill passed by Parliament. The Congress offers him its unconditional support."
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram underscored the significance of the government's potential introduction of the Women's Reservation Bill on Tuesday, describing it as a "victory for the Congress and its allies in the UPA government." Notably, the bill received approval in the Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2010, during the UPA government's tenure, although it was not taken up in the Lok Sabha at that time.
It is worth mentioning here that the Congress party has made efforts to claim credit for the Women's Reservation Bill, a significant legislative milestone that saw approval in the Rajya Sabha back in 2010, albeit amid a tumultuous atmosphere. During this period, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was at the helm of affairs. However, the bill faced a roadblock in the Lok Sabha, primarily due to the demands put forth by coalition allies like the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Samajwadi Party. These allies sought a sub-quota within the Women's Reservation Bill, specifically dedicated to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Consequently, the bill's progress in the Lok Sabha was hindered, leaving it unpassed at that time.