‘Shrouded in secrecy’: BJP turned Women’s Reservation Bill an opportunity for politicking, says Kanimozhi

New Delhi:- DMK MP K Kanimozhi on Wednesday slammed the government over the Women’s Reservation Bill saying that it was brought ‘shrouded in secrecy’ and alleged that unfortunately, the BJP has taken this also as an opportunity for politicking.

As she rose to speak in Lok Sabha while participating in the debate over the bill, Kanimozhi alleged heckling by BJP MPs.

She asked Lok Sabha chairman Om Birla, “What is this sir, I haven’t even started and I don’t even understand sir.”

Even Supriya Sule said that she has not started her speech and such behaviour was uncalled for.

Kanimozhi said, “I am happy to be speaking about the Women’s Reservation Bill. We thought this bill will be passed with all of us supporting each other and standing together. But unfortunately, the BJP has taken this also as an opportunity for politicking. And it is very unfortunate.”

She also quoted the famous lines of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet that “a better democracy is one where women do not only have the right to vote and to elect but to be elected.”

Slamming the BJP, she said, “The Women’s Reservation Bill is a poll promise of the BJP. Yet, many leaders had to urge them to bring this Bill and to pass it. Our leader Kalaignar (M Karunanidhi) has written to pass the bill in 2014.

She said that even Congress leader Sonia Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister in 2017 requesting him to pass the Bill, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K Stalin wrote to the Prime Minister requesting and urging the government to pass the bill in 2017.

“The bill, which was moved to empower women’s voice in the legislatures and in parliament of our great nation is struggling to succeed. This is really disheartening,” she said.

She further said that she herself has raised this issue of bringing the Reservation Bill many times in Parliament.

“They said that they have to involve all stakeholders, political parties and then build a consensus before bringing the bill. I would like to know what consensus was built. What discussions were held? This bill was brought shrouded in secrecy,” she alleged.

“We did not know why this session was called for and in the all party leader meeting there was no mention of the bill. I don’t know if any of the leaders were called for discussion and deliberation.”

“Suddenly the bill popped up from the computer screen like jack in the box. Is this going to be the way this government is going to function? Suddenly there are lotuses blooming from the uniform of the secretariat staff. Will everything be like this?” Kanomozhi asked.

Earlier in the day, CPP chairperson Sonia Gandhi said that she and the Congress supported the bill and also demanded that this bill be enforced immediately, and along with that, arrangements be made for reservations to women from SC, ST and OBC communities by holding a caste census.

On Tuesday, the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, was introduced in Lok Sabha in the supplementary list of business.