इंडियन आवाज़     18 May 2024 04:46:14      انڈین آواز

What Women MPs said about Women Bill in Lok Sabha

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Lok Sabha finally kept its tryst with destiny and gave its nod to the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment 128th) Bill seeking to provide one-third reservation to reserve one-third of the total number of seats in Lok Sabha and State legislative assemblies for women.

What Women members said about the bill read here….

There are 82 women MPs in Lok Sabha out of a total strength of 543.

Sonia Gandhi

“I want to ask a question. For the last 13 years, Indian women have been waiting for their political responsibilities, and now they are being asked to wait for a few more years — two years, four years, six years, eight years,” former Congress president Sonia Gandhi said initiating the debate in the House of the people.

“Rajiv Gandhi’s dream is only half fulfilled. It will be fulfilled with the passage of this bill. The Congress supports this bill. We will be happy with the passage of this bill,” she said. 


Supriya Sule

NCP MP Supriya Sule demanded that the bill should be immediately implemented. “Let’s make a constitutional amendment to show our commitment to SC/ST and OBC. Unless we have delimitation and census we can’t implement it so what is this special session?… The date of next census is indeterminate, the date of next delimitation is indeterminate so how are we going to get it,” Ms Sule said.

Mahua Moitra

Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra said it should be renamed as “women’s reservation rescheduling bill” and asserted that what was needed was action not “the placebo of legislatively-mandated procrastination”.  

This is a sham and not a historic bill as what it is being touted, Mahua Moitra said.”The question of women’s reservation requires action, not the placebo of legislatively mandated procrastination,” Moitra said.

“PM grandly proclaimed (yesterday) that he was ordained to perform many important tasks for the country including this one and then with much fanfare the government introduced this bill claiming credit as usual for a groundbreaking move. But wait, what does this bill really say? The reservation shall come into effect only after delimitation is undertaken and delimitation will be undertaken only after the relevant figures of the next census are published. In true BJP’s Goebbelsian doublespeak style, it means we don’t know if and actually when we will actually have 33% women sitting in Lok Sabha. Because number one, the date of the next census is entirely undetermined. So the delimitation is doubly indeterminate. Can there be a greater jumla? Forget 2024, it may not be possible in 2029,” Mahua Moitra said.

‘Did you count cows when you protected them?’
Asking whether women are any less than cows in the country, Mahua Moitra said when the government wanted to protect cows, a move that she said she supported, it did not count cows but just built cow sheds. “Are we women less than cows that we need to wait while you count and draw lines? We don’t need any more vandanas. Thank you very much. What we need is direct action. Honourable Prime Minister, this is your time to show us all that Modi hai toh mumkin hai,” Mahua Moitra said.

Kanimozhi Karunanidhi

DMK MP Kanimozhi Karunanidhi also made a similar demand.”How long should we wait before this bill can be implemented. We have seen it can easily be implemented in the coming elections. This bill is not just an act of reservation but an act of removing bias and injustice and if you do not remove the clause which says after delimitation then there is no point, because we do not know till when this inordinate delay will go on,” she said.

Like showing women ladoos they can’t eat: Harsimrat Badal on women’s quota bill

Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Shiromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal said if there is no final date on its implementation, then what was the urgency to bring it in this session.  “You have brought a bill which will not give the rights to women in the next 5-6 years,” she said.

“It is like showing women ladoos which they cannot have,” SAD Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal said participating in the day-long debate in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday on the Constitution (128th) Amendment Bill 2023 which reserves 33 per cent seats for women in Lok Sabha, state assemblies and the Delhi assembly.

Harsimrat Badal said the Bill would only be “another election stunt” unless immediately implemented.

“If the government could push the note ban, GST in great hurry, what is the problem in implementing the provisions of the women’s bill?” she asked, adding that the Sikh Gurus had always championed the cause of women’s empowerment and in line with the tenets of Sikh religion, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee had given Sikh women equal voting rights in 1925, even before India gained independence.

Smriti Irani

Union minister Smriti Irani said the opposition demand that the bill be implemented ‘immediately’ is unwarranted and wondered whether it is their wish to not follow constitutional process. Ms Irani, who represents Amethi constitutuency, also hit out at opposition parties such as the Samajwadi Party for their demand for reservation for minorities and said they do not know that reservation based on religion is “prohibited” under the Constitution.

The other two ministers to intervene were Minister of State for Health Bharati Pawar and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel.  Ms Patel, a member of the Apna Dal, a BJP ally, said the demand of the opposition is not wrong and it is a “serious issue” as women belonging to backward classes are marginalised.

“In our society, women belonging to backward classes are marginalised. Their challenges are different and more, and hence the demand for reservation keeps coming,” Ms Patel said. 

Among others, women lawmakers, who took part in the debate were Sumalatha Ambareesh, Sarmishta Sethi, Jaskaur Meena, Dimple Yadav (Samajwadi), Sandhya Ray (BJP), Navneet Ravi Rana, Veena Devi, Sunita Duggal, S. Jothimani, Bhawana Gawali (Patil), Sangeeta Azad, Rajashree Mallick, Geeta Viswanath Vanga, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar (TMC), former Minister and NPP member Agatha K Sangma, and Satabdi Roy, also from Trinamool Congress.

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