Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], September 23 (ANI): Taking a swipe at the BJP over the women’s reservation Bill, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday labelled them as ‘liars’, adding that the passage of the draft legislation in the Parliament was merely a case of the ruling party “showboating” and playing to the gallery ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing a public rally in Jaipur on Saturday, the Congress national chief said, “They keep saying that they support women. They are liars. They tabled the Women’s Reservation Bill at a time when elections are around the corner. They brought it to woo voters. If we come to power in 2024, implementation of the Bill is the first promise that we will deliver on.”
“When we had brought the Bill, the BJP opposed it. However, there’s enough room for suspicion about their intent behind this draft legislation. We supported this Bill in both Houses of Parliament. But where’s the clarity on when it will be implemented? Census and delimitation are done once every ten years. The passage of this Bill in Parliament was merely a case of the BJP showing off,” he added.
The Women’s Reservation Bill, which provides for 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha as well as the state legislative assemblies, cleared its final legislative hurdle at the Rajya Sabha on Thursday with 214 members voting in support and none against.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Bill got the nod of the Lok Sabha as it was passed with a brute majority of 454 votes in favour and just 2 against.
Even as some Opposition members flagged concerns over the delay in implementation of the Bill, the Centre maintained that it would implemented after due process.
The Rajya Sabha had earlier passed the Women’s Reservation Bill in 2010 during the Congress-led UPA government but it was not taken up in the Lok Sabha and subsequently lapsed in the lower House.
Meanwhile, attacking the ruling BJP, the Congress President said, “The Bill couldn’t be passed 30 years back because of them (BJP). Now, they are trying to be the heroes by projecting themselves to be the champions of the cause. Whatever was done, was done by us. They keep asking us what we did. We gave equal rights to all. They don’t even let backward-class people come near them. They did not invite President Droupadi Murmu to the inauguration of the new parliament building. Why? Would they have had to clean the place with water from the holy Ganges?”
“They called celebrities to the Parliament. Why didn’t they invite Murmu? Was this decency? (Mahatma) Gandhi-ji once said that we have to build a country where every poor understands that it is their country, where equal rights are given to men and women. Tell me, if any BJP leader has ever said this. Tell me if any Jana Sangh leader has ever said this,” he said, railing against the BJP.
The BJP was earlier known as ‘Jana Sangh’.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Kharge were in Jaipur to address a public gathering and lay the foundation stone for a new party office building in the Mansarovar area.
The assembly elections in Rajasthan are due later this year, with the BJP setting sights on wresting power from the ruling Congress.
In the 2008 Assembly polls, the Congress secured 100 seats, one short of securing an absolute majority. It formed the government in alliance with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). (ANI)
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