Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti on Saturday said she would not get the Women’s Reservation Bill implemented unless it takes the OBCs into account.
“I represent half of the country’s population. We have accepted the bill that provides 33% reservation for women, but I will not get the bill implemented unless it takes into account the OBCs,” Uma Bharti said while talking to reporters. in Bhopal of Madhya Pradesh.
“The backward class represents a large part of society. I would like to appeal to the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh to give 50% reservation to women in the upcoming elections. This also applies to women belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe. ” she added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ms Bharti wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the tabling of the Women’s Reservation Bill, demanding that of the 33 per cent reservation guaranteed to women in the legislatures, 50 per cent be reserved for ST, SC and OBC communities.
In her letter, a copy of which is with ANI, Ms Bharti wrote: “The introduction of the Women Reservation Bill in Parliament is a matter of happiness for the women of the country. When this special reservation was presented in the House by the then Prime Minister Deve Gowda in 1996, I was a Member of Parliament. I immediately rose and introduced an amendment to this bill and more than half the House supported me. Deve Gowda happily accepted the amendment. He announced the transfer of the bill to the Standing Committee.”
“There was a lot of commotion in the House before it adjourned. As soon as she came into the corridor of the House, many MPs from her party were angry, but late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee listened to her patiently. Despite being staunch political opponents, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Yadav, and their party MPs were all in favor of the amendment, she wrote.
She added in her letter, “I also present to you (Prime Minister Modi) a proposed amendment. I am confident that you will get this bill passed with the proposed amendments. A 33% reservation for women in legislative bodies is a special situation. However, it must be ensured that of these 33 per cent reserved seats, 50 per cent are reserved for ST, SC and OBC women.”
There is a provision for special reservation for backward caste women in Panchayati Raj and local bodies, she noted in her letter, adding that backward women from the Muslim community, recognized as such by the Mandal Commission, should also be eligible for reservations in legislative bodies. . If this bill is passed without this special provision, the women from the backward classes will be deprived of this special opportunity, she added.
“Although the MPs of our party and other parties, especially the MPs of the Left and Congress, were very angry with me, some senior leaders of our party supported me. As long as I was in your Cabinet for five years, whenever the issue of women’s reservations was raised, I would insist that it should be balanced and holistic,” Ms Bharti wrote.
“I am no longer in Parliament, but the backward Dalit and tribal sections of the country are confident that our government will pass the bill after considering the interests,” she added.
The Women Quota Bill, which provides for 33 per cent reservation for women in both the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies, cleared the final legislative hurdle in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday with 214 members voting in favor and none against.
Earlier on Wednesday, the bill received the approval of the Lok Sabha when it was passed by a raw majority of 454 votes in favor and just 2 against.
While some Opposition members expressed concern over the delay in implementation of the bill, the Center maintained that it would be implemented after due process.
The Rajya Sabha had earlier passed the Women’s Reservation Bill in 2010 during the Congress-led UPA government, but it was not taken up in the Lok Sabha and subsequently lapsed in the House.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)