Rahul writes to Cong CMs on women's reservation bill

Rahul writes to Cong CMs on women's reservation bill

Congress President Rahul Gandhi. PTI file photo

Stepping up pressure on the Modi government for passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has written to chief ministers of states where the party is in power alone or in alliance to pass a resolution in the next assembly session for quotas for women in Lok Sabha and state legislatures.

In a letter to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Rahul said the lack of adequate representation of women in the country’s polity undermined democracy and perpetuated existing systemic injustices.

“In order to reaffirm our support for the passage of the Bill, it would be expedient for the state assembly to pass a resolution calling for the reservation of one-third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies for women, in the next session,” the Congress President said in a letter dated on December 6.

Earlier, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written to all chief ministers seeking their support in ensuring the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament.

In the letter to Singh, Rahul pointed out that during his interactions, women had shown remarkable resilience and commitment to public service and had besides being effective leaders, had challenged traditional gender roles.

“India ranks 148th out of 193 countries in terms of the percentage of women in Parliament,” he said.

The Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to provide 33% reservation in all seats in Parliament and assemblies for women, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in 2008 and passed in 2010. However, the Bill was never presented in the Lok Sabha during the tenure of the previous UPA government given the opposition from alliance partners such as RJD and the Samajwadi Party. The bill lapsed after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.

Besides Punjab, Congress is in power in Mizoram, Puducherry and in Karnataka in alliance with the JD(S). Elections were held in Mizoram on November 28 and results will be declared on December 11.