The Congress president called upon the Prime Minister to rise above party politics and pass the Women’s Reservation Bill and pledged his party’s unconditional support.
NEW DELHI — Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday tweeted a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to “rise above party politics, walk-his-talk and have the Women’s Reservation Bill” passed by the Parliament and offered his party’s unconditional support.
This is the latest challenge to Prime Minister from Congress president on a bill that has proved difficult to pass for eight years.
Sharing the letter on Twitter, Rahul wrote: “Our PM says he’s a crusader for women’s empowerment. Time for him to rise above party politics, walk-his-talk and have the Women Reservation Bill passed by Parliament.”
“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?” Rahul Gandhi says in the letter.
The proposed bill seeks to reserve one-third (or 33 per cent) of all seats for women in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies. A third of the total seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will also be reserved for women from these categories in Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies after the passage of bill.
The Congress president wrote: “BJP appears to have had second thoughts even though this [Women Reservation Bill] was one of its key promises in its 2014 manifesto.”
The letter comes days after Prime Minister Modi targeted the Congress party claiming that it was ignoring ‘Muslim women’ and alleged that Rahul has claimed the Congress to be a party of Muslim men.
The Congress, however, has hit back in the last two days accusing PM Modi of spreading the “poison of hatred and division”.
Rahul Gandhi ✔@RahulGandhi
Here’s the complete text of the letter that Rahul Gandhi posted on Twitter with a hashtag #MahilaAakrosh :
Dear Prime Minister,
I write to request your support to ensure the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament.
As you are aware, the Women’s Reservation Bill, passed by the Rajya Sabha on the 9th of March, 2010, has been stalled on one pretext or the other. in the Lok Sabha, for over eight years now. When this bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha with the support of the BJP, the then leader of the opposition, Arun Jaitley ji, called the passage of the bill “historic and momentous”. Since then, while the Congress party has been unwavering in its commitment to the bill, the BJP appears to have had second thoughts, even though this was one of its key promises in its 2014 manifesto.
For the skeptics in your party who oppose the passage of this transformational 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.
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.
Given that fact that the BJP and its allies have a majority in the Lok Sabha. all this landmark legislation requires to become a reality is your support. I am sure, it will not be withheld.
In order to raise awareness and build public support. the Congress party has collected over 3.2 million signatures of Indian men and women. in support of the bill. We submit these signatures to your care and humbly seek your support in ensuring that the Women’s Reservation Bill is passed by Parliament so that women can participate more meaningfully in the 2019 General Elections and the state elections later this year.
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.