‘Another jumla’: Women MPs unhappy over quota bill implementation delay

NEW DELHI | Updated: 20 September, 2023 5:44 pm IST
Opposition MPs Kanimozhi, Dimple Yadav, Mahua Moitra and Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar took to the mic to criticise the provisions of the bill

NEW DELHI: Female MPs from opposition parties in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday took on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the proposal for delayed implementation of the Women’s Reservation Bill.

Speaking during the special parliament session, lawmakers expressed unhappiness with the government’s decision to link the implementation of the bill to the delimitation exercise, which will be based on the 2021 census data. This means that the bill will not come into effect until after the 2024 general elections.

“With much fanfare, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the bill, but in familiar BJP doublespeak, they hid the fact that the 33 per cent reservation will only be undertaken after the delimitation exercise gets completed, which will be determined according to the census data which will be published subsequently,” said All India Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra.

She questioned the need for these conditions, saying, “The implementation requires there to be census data, and the completion of the delimitation exercise. The date of implementation of both still remains indefinite. Can there be a greater jumla (farce)?”

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Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader Kanimozhi Karunanidhi also expressed her dissatisfaction with the bill, saying, “I had hoped that today would be the day when there would be unanimity in the passage of the bill, but the BJP has taken this (bill) also as an opportunity for politicking.”

Quoting social justice activist Periyar, she exclaimed, attacking the BJP treasury benches, “The pretense of men that they respect women and that they strive for their freedom is only a ruse to deceive women.”

On the other hand, Barasat MP from TMC, Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, claimed that West Bengal is the only state which has implemented the 33 per cent reservation for women in its assembly, taking a dig at BJP-led states which do not have a female chief minister. She further attacked the “newly found affection for women” of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

“If the government really cared for the country’s women, they would have taken action against the perpetrator who harassed our wrestlers — Brij Bhushan Singh — who sits here in the parliament,” said Dastidar.

READ: BJP not serious about Women’s Reservation Bill: Congress MP

Samajwadi Party MP Dimple Yadav demanded clarification from the Centre regarding the implementation of the delimitation exercise as well as the census.

She said, “If the government wants to empower women and respect women, the Samajwadi Party demands that the government include women belonging from OBC and minorities too. I have asked when the caste census will take place? When the delimitation process will begin as both are interrelated. It is very important that the government clears all the issues and facts.”

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