HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Cong will pressurise govt to pass women's bill: Sonia

PTI  New Delhi, August 20, 2014
First Published: 13:58 IST(20/8/2014) | Last Updated: 16:45 IST(20/8/2014)

Making a strong pitch for women's reservation in Parliament and state Assemblies, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said her party will put "full pressure" on the NDA government to pass the bill on the issue as soon as possible.

Addressing a conference of Mahila Congress in New Delhi, she accused the Narendra Modi government of copying the schemes and programmes of the UPA government and rued that despite doing so much, the Congress-led alliance lost in the Lok Sabha polls as people got misled by false promises.

"We had done so much but still people got misled as some persons laid a trap. Our work, our achievement got aside and those showing false dreams marched ahead," Gandhi said at the first such large gathering of party workers after the election debacle.

On the occasion of 70th birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress president said empowering women was one of the two priorities which the Congress leader had pursued ever since he had become the general secretary of the party.

He believed that no country can move forward by ignoring half of its population, she said.

Listing a number of steps taken by Rajiv for women empowerment including reservation for them in panchayats and setting up of a national commission for women, the Congress chief said that the late prime minister also wanted that women should get representation in Parliament and assemblies.

She, however, regretted that nobody took the issue forward after Rajiv's death.

Unfortunately the bill could not get passed in Lok Sabha because of some political parties, she said, noting that the Congress-led UPA government took up the issue when it came to power in 2004 and ensured passage of the measure in Rajya Sabha.

"Today, we are in opposition but Congress will not withdraw from its commitment to women's reservation and we will build full pressure on the NDA government to pass the bill as soon as possible," she said.

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