Women’s Reservation Bill: Parties raise concerns, demand ‘quota within quota’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Women’s Reservation Bill: Parties raise concerns, demand ‘quota within quota’

ByDeeksha Bhardwaj
Sep 19, 2023 07:37 PM IST

The parties which raised concerns over the Women’s Reservation Bill include the Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (United) and Rashtriya Janata Dal

Several political parties that had opposed the Women’s Reservation Bill since it was first introduced have said that they disagree with the fundamentals of the Bill as it does not account for representation of women from marginalised communities.

The Women’s Reservation Bill was tabled by Union law minister Arjun Meghwal in the Lok Sabha at the new Parliament building on Tuesday. (ANI)
The Women’s Reservation Bill was tabled by Union law minister Arjun Meghwal in the Lok Sabha at the new Parliament building on Tuesday. (ANI)

The parties which opposed the Bill include the Samajwadi Party (SP), Janata Dal-United (JD-U) the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP).

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

The SP, under Mulayam Singh Yadav and later Akhilesh Yadav, opposed the bill, concerned about its impact on the representation of marginalised communities. The RJD, led by Lalu Prasad Yadav, believed it would benefit some while depriving others. Mayawati’s BSP expressed similar reservations, calling for consideration of Dalit and marginalised women.

Former SP Lok Sabha member Dharmendra Yadav told HT that the perception that the SP is opposed to the bill is wrong.

“We have always maintained that we are in-principle supporters of the Bill, just not in its current form. Even in Uttar Pradesh, we have provided women with opportunities. However, we seek that the Bill should empower women from all sections — the minorities, Dalits, Other Backward Classes and Scheduled Tribes.”

Yadav added that the party had not opposed the Bill, nor does it today. “We are opposed to its current draft,” he said.

The JDU also took a cautious line on the Bill, saying that it is an ‘election jumla’ (an unfulfilled promise) but if it had ‘quota within quota’, then the party would find no reason to oppose it.

“We are demanding a nation wise caste census, so if the population is not represented properly then what is the use of the reservation. Reservation is done for raising the issue of a community. Like OBC, EBC, they too have a population and that is why we are doing caste census. What is the use of bringing it (Women’s Reservation Bill) on the last day? Then it is an election jumla,” JD-U leader Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan singh told HT.

Meanwhile, Manoj Jha from the RJD told HT, “The party has raised concerns regarding the Bill in the past. If the Bill is meant to empower women and deepen democracy, you need to have a quota within a quota in this representation. There is still a lack of clarity on the Bill. Our concern in 2010 was that women from all sections, a rainbow of women, should be empowered, and our concern today is the same. We should not be bracketed between ‘ayes’ and ‘nos’. This bill echoes Mahatma Gandhi’s sentiments; it is a post-dated commitment from a government that has lost its credibility.”

HT reached out to two former Rajya Sabha MPs from BSP but did not receive a response immediately.

During the late 1990s, the RJD, SP, JD-U, and BSP were primary opponents of the proposition. In June 1997, senior JD-U leader Sharad Yadav made a controversial comment on the floor of the house. He questioned the ability of “short-haired” urban women to represent the concerns of rural women.

The Women’s Reservation Bill was tabled by Union law minister Arjun Meghwal in the Lok Sabha at the new Parliament building on Tuesday. The bill seeking to reserve 33 per cent of the seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies was cleared by the Union Cabinet on Monday.

“On this historic occasion in the new Parliament building, as the first proceeding of the House, the beginning of all the Parliamentarians opening gateways for women power is being done with this crucial decision. Taking forward our resolve of women-led development, our government is bringing an important constitutional amendment bill”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok sabha election Live , Election 2024 Date, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, May 20, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On