Women's Reservation Bill languishing in Lok Sabha: Sonia Gandhi's letter to PM Modi

Sonia Gandhi was admitted to the hospital on Friday evening. She is under observation, a doctor said. Photograph:( Others )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 21, 2017, 09.01 AM (IST)

Congress president and Opposition leader Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to use his party's majority in the Lok Sabha to pass the much-delayed Women's Reservation Bill which reserves a third of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies.

The women's reservation bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2010. The Congress-led UPA coalition government was in power at the time.

In her letter, Congress president Sonia Gandhi points out that since 2010, the women's reservation bill has languished in the Lok Sabha for one reason or the other.

In July, the CPI-M had urged the ruling NDA alliance to clear the bill. 

As did Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan who said the bill should be passed "respectfully" without quarrelling.

The 2008 bill has been opposed by legislators reluctant to relinquish power in their constituency.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Assam Gana Parishad (AGP) also support the bill.

The Janata Dal United (JD(U)), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Samajwadi Party are the main opponents of the bill. Their legislators have gone to the extent of tearing the bill in Parliament.

Here is the full text of Sonia Gandhi's letter:

Dear Prime Minister,

You may recall that the Rajya Sabha had passed the Women’s Reservation Bill on March 9, 2010. Since then, however, it has languished in the Lok Sabha for one reason or another.

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. The Congress Party has always and will continue to support this legislation which will be a significant step forward in the empowerment of women. You may recall that it was, in fact, the Congress Party and its late leader Shri Rajiv Gandhi who first mooted the provision for reservation for women in panchayats and nagarpalikas in the Constitution Amendment Bills which the Opposition parties thwarted in the Rajya Sabha in 1989 but later were passed by both Houses of Parliament in 1993 becoming the 73rd and 74th Amendments.

With Regards,

Yours sincerely,

Sonia Gandhi 


 

Story highlights

Congress president and Opposition leader Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to use his party's majority in the Lok Sabha to pass the much-delayed Women's Reservation Bill