New Delhi: Sonia Gandhi has written to Narendra Modi, urging him to use the BJP’s majority in the Lok Sabha and make sure the passage of the long-pending Women’s Reservation Bill. Point to be noted here is that the Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha in 2010 during the Congress-led UPA’s rule, but it has not been tabled in the Lower House since then.
One of the most significant factor to note is that the legislation guarantees 33 per cent reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, ensuring a stronger women’s voice at the top that is expected to lead to policies and laws to help fight abuse, discrimination and inequality.
Sonia wrote the letter, amid a buzz within the Congress that she might end her 19-year tenure as party president by October 31 in favour of her son Rahul Gandhi.
“I am writing to request you to take advantage of your majority in the Lok Sabha to now get the Women’s Reservation Bill Passed in the Lower House as well,” she said in the letter, adding that the Bill has languished in the Lok Sabha for one reason or another.
In terms of figures, women have only 11 per cent representation in both Houses of Parliament, placing the country at the 149th spot in the world, according to the latest statistics available with the United Nations.
Since 1996, the Bill has lapsed each time the House was dissolved and was later reintroduced by the government of the day.
The party’s two most dependable allies — the SP and the RJD — are strenuously opposed to the Bill in its current form. They demand quota within quota for minorities and other backward communities (OBCs).