Sonia Gandhi writes to Modi on Women's bill
NEW DELHI: Congress president Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to get the women's reservation bill passed in the Lok Sabha by taking advantage of the BJP's majority in the House.
Gandhi assured him of her party's support to the legislation, which she said would be a significant step forward in the empowerment of women.
The Rajya Sabha had passed the bill on March 9, 2010.
"I am writing to request you to take advantage of your majority in the Lok Sabha to now get the women's reservation bill passed in the Lower House as well," Gandhi said in the letter dated September 20.
Party vice-president Rahul Gandhi later tweeted, "The Congress party has and will continue to support the Women's Reservation Bill."
Speaking to reporters here, Congress women's wing chief Sushmita Dev questioned the alleged delay by the government in ensuring the passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha.
The ruling BJP should show that its commitment towards the legislation is not mere "symbolism", she said.
She asked Modi to assure the country's women that the reservations would be implemented before 2019 when the next general elections will be held.
In her letter, Gandhi recalled that the Congress and its late leader Rajiv Gandhi had first mooted the provision for quotas for women in panchayats and municipal bodies through Constitutional amendment bills.
According to BJP sources, the issue is not a matter of 'majority in the lower house of the Parliament', but of 'consensus'. A BJP national General Secretary told Millennium Post that, "It is not a matter of our majority in Lok Sabha. It (the Bill) should be passed with all-party consensus."