Mayawati and Akhilesh back Women’s Reservation Bill with calls for inclusivity

LUCKNOW: In a significant development in the realm of gender representation in Indian politics, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav have thrown their weight behind a Bill presented in Parliament aimed at securing reservation for women in legislative bodies. However, their support comes with specific conditions that emphasise social justice and inclusivity.

Their statements to the media coincided with the Central Government’s announcement of its intention to introduce a Bill in Parliament, seeking to provide one-third reservation to women in the Lok Sabha, State Assemblies, and the Delhi Legislative Assembly.

The proposed Bill, introduced by the Central Government in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, aims to allocate 33 per cent of seats in both the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies to women.

Mayawati, while expressing her party’s unwavering support for the Bill, stated that even if the reservation percentage were raised to 50 per cent instead of the proposed 33 per cent, the BSP would continue to endorse it. The Bill is expected to be a topic of intense deliberation in Parliament in the near future.

“My party will support any Bill that allows reservation for women in Parliament and other legislatures, even if the party’s demand for a quota for the SC, ST, and OBC within that quota is not met,” Mayawati affirmed.

Representing the BSP, Mayawati strongly emphasised the necessity of extending this reservation to women belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Under the envisioned legislation, 33 per cent of seats in both the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies would be earmarked for women members. Simultaneously, SP President Akhilesh Yadav has voiced a similar stance, emphasising a balanced representation of gender and social justice within the framework of

women’s reservation.

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