‘Modi govt wants increased representation of Savarna women’: Owaisi in Lok Sabha
Owaisi attacked the Narendra Modi-led Central government for not offering a quota to women from Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Muslim communities.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday opposed the Women's Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha during the debate on the legislation calling it a “check-bounce bill” and “anti-OBC and Muslim women bill” alleging that the bill would only increase the representation of Savarna women.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Owaisi attacked the Narendra Modi-led Central government for not offering a quota to women from Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Muslim communities. Owaisi said, “Modi government wants increased representation for Savarna women. They don't want representation for OBC women and Muslim women. 690 women MPs have been elected till the 17th Lok Sabha and out of these only 25 have come from the Muslim community.”
The bill, which proposes a 33 per cent quota for women in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies, was approved by the Union Cabinet on Monday to provide reservation for women in the national and state legislatures, paving the way for the introduction of the legislation in the ongoing special session of Parliament.
Owaisi further said that the bill would deny a fair share to OBCs and would close the doors for Muslim representation in Parliament and in the Assembly.
Opposing the bill, Owaisi said, “On behalf of my party, I stand to oppose this legislation. The justification being given for bringing this legislation is to ensure that more women get elected in Parliament and the state assemblies. If that is the justification, then why is it not being extended to the OBC women and the Muslim women, whose representation in this house is minimal.”
He took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party for allegedly spreading “Hindu nationalism”. He said, “We know for a fact that — with the rise of Hindu majority and nationalism, and the formation of Hindu votebank by the BJP — the Muslim representation has gone down and will go down further.”
Saying that the bill was a “selective affirmation” and an “election stunt”, Owaisi claimed that in 1951, 1962, 1991, 1999 no Muslim women who got elected to Parliament.
Raising the issue of reservation on religious grounds, Owaisi questioned the 1950 presidential order. “It is a deception. You are deceiving the Muslim community by denying them a quota in this women's reservation.”
Owaisi also blamed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for “deceiving minorities”. He said, “I would blame Sardar Patel and Nehru for deceiving the minorities in the constituent assembly. Had they been honest, the Muslim representation had been higher over here.”
Speaking about the representation of Muslim women, Owaisi said they are 7 per cent of the population but in the Lok Sabha, their representation was just 0.7 per cent. He said that the bill was exclusive in nature and was for those who were already being represented in Parliament.
Owaisi said, “Muslim women face double-bind discrimination — for being a woman and a Muslim. This government doesn't want to live in a world where marginalised people get substantial representation. You want a Parliament which consists of only ‘bade log’, you don't want people from ‘chote ghar’ in Parliament. ”
Owaisi also attacked PM Modi for coming from a backward class and yet not helping other OBCs. He said, “The Prime Minister is OBC, you only have 120 OBC MPs in the house, there are 232 Upper Caste MPs. The Prime Minister says ‘I am an OBC’ but you are not looking after your own OBCs.”