'BJP failed to pass Women's Reservation Bill, poll promise not kept'

KOLKATA: Slamming the Centre over Women's Reservation Bill, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien on Sunday accused the BJP of failing to pass the legislation despite assurances in the party's 2014 election manifesto.

O'Brien also posted a video on Twitter of his recent speech in Rajya Sabha over the issue.

"Today makes it 25 years since the WOMEN'S RESERVATION BILL was introduced in #Parliament. 25 years. No Bill passed. MO-SHA's BJP even promised it in their 2014 Manifesto. FAIL," the TMC MP tweeted.

The bill aims at 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies.

O'Brien, in the video of his speech, claimed that there is 25 per cent representation of women in legislatures across the world, while the national average is 13 per cent.

In the BJP, the number of women MPs in Parliament is around 10-11 per cent, he said. The TMC national spokesman said in contrast, close to 40 per cent of his party's MPs in both Houses of Parliament are women.

Last month, women's rights activists and parliamentarians had held a public consultation to ensure passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in Lok Sabha, noting that even after 75 years of Independence, women have been struggling to get proper representation in Parliament.

TMC MP Mahua Moitra had extended her support to the Women's Reservation Bill, saying women have to be given representation at electoral politics and at organisational political level. Rajya Sabha passed the bill in 2010, but Lok Sabha never voted on the bill and it is still pending.

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