'Are we women less than cows that...': Mahua Moitra says quota not even in 2029

Sep 20, 2023 05:01 PM IST

The agenda of the women's quota bill is delay and should be called women's reservation rescheduling bill, Mahua Moitra said calling it a ‘jumla’.

Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra said the women's reservation bill in Parliament is nothing but a jumla as it may not become a reality even in 2029 as its fruition depends on two indeterminate factors, census and delimitation. This is a sham and not a historic bill as what it is being touted, Mahua Moitra said."The question of women's reservation requires action, not the placebo of legislatively mandated procrastination," Moitra said.

Mahua Moitra said Trinamool supports the women reservation bill because Mamata Banerjee is the mother of the bill.
Mahua Moitra said Trinamool supports the women reservation bill because Mamata Banerjee is the mother of the bill.

“It is both my pride and shame that I stand here in India's Parliament speaking on women's reservation bill. It is my pride that I belong to the All India Trinamool Congress, a party that sends 37% women among its members to Parliament. It is my chagrin that I belong to a Lok Sabha, a house of people, that on aggregate has only 15% of its members as women – far below the global average of 26.5% and also below the Asian regional average of 21%,” Mahua Moitra said.

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“PM grandly proclaimed (yesterday) that he was ordained to perform many important tasks for the country including this one and then with much fanfare the government introduced this bill claiming credit as usual for a groundbreaking move. But wait, what does this bill really say? The reservation shall come into effect only after delimitation is undertaken and delimitation will be undertaken only after the relevant figures of the next census are published. In true BJP's Goebbelsian doublespeak style, it means we don't know if and actually when we will actually have 33% women sitting in Lok Sabha. Because number one, the date of the next census is entirely undetermined. So the delimitation is doubly indeterminate. Can there be a greater jumla? Forget 2024, it may not be possible in 2029,” Mahua Moitra said.

“BJP's liaison members are calling us and asking for whole-hearted support with no ifs and buts. To them, we say very clearly that we not only support the reservation bill but in truth it's Mamata Banerjee, India's only female chief minister today, who is the mother of this bill. She has given birth to the original idea where she unconditionally sent 37% of women MPs to this Parliament. What you have brought today is not a women's reservation bill but women's reservation rescheduling bill and should be renamed as such. Its agenda is delay, its agenda is not reservation. The endless dithering over when will be the next census, on when there will be delimitation will only ensure that the reservation will be indefinitely delayed yet again,” Moitra said.

'Did you count cows when you protected them?'

Asking whether women are any less than cows in the country, Mahua Moitra said when the government wanted to protect cows, a move that she said she supported, it did not count cows but just built cow sheds. "Are we women less than cows that we need to wait while you count and draw lines? We don't need any more vandanas. Thank you very much. What we need is direct action. Honourable Prime Minister, this is your time to show us all that Modi hai toh mumkin hai," Mahua Moitra said.

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