No justification for delay in implementing Women’s Quota Bill: Rahul Gandhi

The women’s reservation Bill can be implemented in Parliament and State Assemblies today itself, but BJP government wants to delay it by 10 years, the Congress leader charges

September 23, 2023 09:50 pm | Updated 09:54 pm IST - JAIPUR

 Congress leader Rahul Gandhi rides pillion on a two-wheeler after his interaction with students of Maharani College, in Jaipur, on Sept. 23, 2023.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi rides pillion on a two-wheeler after his interaction with students of Maharani College, in Jaipur, on Sept. 23, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said there was no justification for a delay in the implementation of the women’s reservation Bill, for which the BJP government at the Centre was trying to find excuses such as the new Census and delimitation of constituencies. On the other hand, the Central government was not willing to conduct a caste census, he said.

Mr. Gandhi said at a conference of Congress workers in Jaipur that his party wanted the women’s quota to be implemented “today itself”. He said the special session of the Parliament was convened to change the name of India to Bharat, but when the BJP realised that there was no public support for this, the government brought the Bill for women’s reservation.

“Reservation for women can be implemented in the Parliament and State Assemblies today itself, but the BJP government wants to postpone it for 10 years,” Mr. Gandhi said. He said the Congress had raised some legitimate questions about the lack of a “quota within the quota” for OBC women and the conditions for Census and delimitation, but the government was not willing to respond.

“The Prime Minister talks about OBCs 24 hours a day. If we want to give representation to OBCs in proportion to their population, how can we do it without a caste census?” Mr. Gandhi said, while demanding that the next Census be conducted with the identification of castes. He asked why PM Narendra Modi was afraid of a caste census.

The Wayanad MP said as soon as he started raising the issue of caste census in the Parliament, his voice was suppressed. As many as 90 Secretaries were at present running the Central government, but only three of them belonged to OBCs and they could take the decisions only on 5% of the Budget, Mr. Gandhi said, citing it as an evidence of OBCs being sidelined.

Alleging the existence of a relationship between Gautam Adani and Mr. Modi, Mr. Gandhi asked the Congress party workers to raise the topic before the BJP workers, who he said would run away when confronted with the inconvenient subject. He said the Congress workers were like “Babbar Shers” (lions) who would win with poise and grace in the ideological fight with the BJP.

Mr. Gandhi, accompanied by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, earlier laid the foundation stone for a new headquarters office of the Pradesh Congress Committee. The four-storey building will be constructed in the Mansarovar area of Jaipur. The two Congress leaders also dedicated to the public the Gandhi Vatika Museum, built in the Central Park in Jaipur.

Mr. Gandhi interacted with the students of Maharani College in Jaipur during his one-day visit to the Rajasthan capital and rode pillion on a two-wheeler driven by a girl student on the road outside the college affiliated to Rajasthan University.

Mr. Kharge, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Pradesh Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra, former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot and Congress Working Committee members Jitendra Singh and Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya also addressed the conference. The party workers from the booth to the district and State levels from different parts of poll-bound Rajasthan attended the conference.

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