On Monday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to ensure the passage of Women’s Reservation Bill in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament which starts July 18.
Rahul Gandhi, in the letter, offered his ‘unconditional support’, further stressing the need of women to take their rightful place in state legislatures and Parliament.
He requested that the bill be passed in the session itself so that women can participate “more meaningfully” in the state elections later this year and in the Lok Sabha polls next year.
“Mr Prime Minister, in many of your public rallies you have spoken about your passion for empowering women and involving them more meaningfully in public life. What better way to demonstrate your commitment to the cause of women, than by offering your unconditional support to the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill? And what better time, than the upcoming session of Parliament? Any further delay will make it impossible to implement before the next general elections,” Gandhi wrote.
He added that the bill, which was passed in by the Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2010, has since then been stalled in the Lok Sabha for over eight years.
While the Congress has continuously committed itself to the bill, the BJP appears to have second thoughts even though this was one of its key promises in its 2014 manifesto, Gandhi said.
“On the issue of empowering our women, let us stand together, rise above party politics and send India a message that we believe the time for change has come. Women must take their rightful place in our state legislatures and in Parliament, where they are at present abysmally represented,” the letter stated.
“For the skeptics in your party who oppose the passage of this transformational (proposed) legislation, I would appreciate you pointing out to them that our nation’s experience with governance at the Panchayat and Municipal levels, has clearly shown that women in leadership positions are more likely, than their male counterparts, to take decisions that further the cause of an inclusive and just society; which is why this bill has the potential to transform governance in India,” he wrote.
The Congress leader also said that since the BJP enjoyed the majority in Lok Sabha, what was needed was for it to support the bill.
“I am sure, it will not be withheld,” he said.
In a tweet, he stated, “Our PM says he’s a crusader for women’s empowerment? Time for him to rise above party politics, walk-his-talk & have the Women’s Reservation Bill passed by Parliament. The Congress offers him its unconditional support (sic).”
Our PM says he’s a crusader for women’s empowerment? Time for him to rise above party politics, walk-his-talk & have the Women’s Reservation Bill passed by Parliament. The Congress offers him its unconditional support.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 16, 2018
The Congress also claimed that over 3.2 million signatures have been collected of Indian men and women and that they would be submitted.