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"They don't give us credit but...": Mallikarjun Kharge on Women's Reservation Bill
New Delhi: After the introduction of the Women's Reservation bill in the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday said that the ruling BJP government is not giving credit to the Congress as the Bill was already passed in the Rajya Sabha during the previous UPA led government.
"They don't give us credit but I want to bring to their notice that the Women Reservation Bill was already passed in 2010, " Kharge said while addressing the Rajya Sabha.
During the House proceedings, a controversy erupted after Kharge said that all political parties had a habit of choosing weak women as representatives.
"Literacy rate of women from Scheduled Caste is less and that's why political parties have a habit of choosing weak women and they won't choose those who are educated and can fight," Kharge said.
On Mallikarjun Kharge's statement, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that such remarks are unacceptable.
"We respect the leader of the opposition but to make a sweeping statement that all parties choose women who are not effective is absolutely unacceptable. We all have been empowered by our party, PM. President Droupadi Murmu is an empowered woman," the Finance Minister said.
Rajya Sabha LoP Mallikarjun Kharge later clarified that women from backwards and tribal communities are not getting opportunities.
"Women from backward, ST don't get such opportunities which they are getting, this is what we are saying," he said.
Urging Rajya Sabha members to pass the Bill - ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ unanimously when it comes to the House, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that it is imperative that women should have a role in policy-making, ensuring women that the Centre is committed to make this bill a law.
"Today a bill has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. After discussion, it will come here also. Today we are taking an important step towards women's empowerment," PM Modi said in Rajya Sabha.
"Yesterday in the Cabinet meeting Women Reservation Bill was passed. Calling September 19 a “historic day” he said that in every sector, women are moving forward and it is important that in policy-making our mothers, sisters, and women should move forward and give their contribution. Not only their contribution but we want them to play a vital role in every sector. I assure all the women that we are committed to making this bill a law," he added.
After the Cabinet approved the Women's Reservation Bill, earlier today Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that demand for the Women's Reservation Bill was initiated by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and Sonia Gandhi.
"We want the Women's Reservation Bill to be brought and passed as soon as possible. The demand for the Women's Reservation Bill was initiated by UPA and our leader Sonia Gandhi. It took so long, but we will be happy if this is introduced," he said.
He said the Bill would strengthen democracy and appealed to members to pass it unanimously.
On the Women Reservation Bill, Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi said, "What about it? It’s ours. Apna hain."
The Women Reservation Bill that seeks to guarantee 33 per quota for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies was introduced as the 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill by the Union law minister. This was the first agenda of the day taken up by the Lower House in the new Parliament building.
Women’s Reservation Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha in 2010 and it was not taken up in Lok Sabha and lapsed in the lower House of Parliament. The five-day special session of the Parliament began on Monday.