INDIA bloc supports Women's Reservation Bill, slams BJP

INDIA bloc supports Women's Reservation Bill, slams BJP

INDIA bloc supports Women's Reservation Bill, slams BJP

The administration was condemned by the Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) coalition for presenting the Women’s Reservation Bill late and for making a “post-dated” commitment that lacked meaning. What had taken a single party majority administration nine and a half years to bring the Bill was a prevalent concern among INDIA party members.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), two of the INDIA bloc’s most vocal members, who had halted the Bill in 2010, continue to press for a “quota within the quota” for Other Backward Classes (OBC).

SP president Akhilesh Yadav in a post on X (formerly Twitter) said: “Women’s reservation should be a balance of gender justice and social justice. In this, reservation for backward, Dalit, minority, tribal [PDA] women should be clear in definite percentage form.”

The party does not oppose the Bill, according to Rajya Sabha member Javed Ali Khan, who went on to elaborate on the party’s position on the issue.

“We know that this government is anti-OBC and that is why there is no point in agitating for a quota for the OBC. We are hopeful when a pro-OBC government is elected, we can suitably amend the Bill,” he said.

Manoj K. Jha, a Rajya Sabha representative for the RJD, stated that while the party supported the principle of having the broadest representation possible, it is still steadfast in its demand for a quota inside a quota.

“Paraphrasing Mahatma Gandhi’s remarks on the Cripps Mission, I would say that a post-dated promise of the government has little credibility,” Jha said.

He emphasised that the Bill’s Clause 5 specifies that only once “delimitation” has been done can reservations be put into effect.

Kanimozhi N.V.N. Somu, a Rajya Sabha member for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), dubbed it a triumph for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) administration but questioned why a government that has hurriedly passed numerous pieces of legislation waited so long to introduce this Bill.

“For the Bill to become reality, the government will have to first conduct a Census, which is now delayed by over three years,” she said.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) also announced its intention to support the Bill.

“We don’t need a piece of legislation to implement reservation for women. One third of our Lok Sabha MPs are already women,” TMC Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O’ Brien said.

The Bill was one of the promises made by the BJP in its 2014 manifesto, according to Shiv Sena member Priyanka Chaturvedi (Udhav Thackeray), but it took them this long to introduce it.

“The Bill that they have brought in clearly lacks intent. They are offering reservation for women but with terms and conditions. They are basically saying that queue up for the reservation but we will decide your entry when the time is best suited,” Chaturvedi said.

As the southern States are already protesting the loss of their political authority, she also noted that the delimitation process might present an insurmountable challenge.