Rahul Gandhi seeks urgent implementation of women’s reservation bill, holding of caste census

New Delhi:- Congress member Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday urged the Centre to immediately implement the women’s reservation bill and conduct the caste census, otherwise the opposition will do it.

He described the women’s reservation bill as “incomplete” as it doesn’t include reservation for OBC women.

Participating in the discussion on the women’s reservation bill, Gandhi said that though he supported the bill, it was an incomplete legislation as no OBC reservation has been included in it for women.

A large chunk of women should have access to reservation but that is missing, Gandhi said.

He also shared a data of 90 Union ministries’ Secretaries, informing that it was “shocking and shattering” to know that only three of them belonged to the OBC community.

“This an insult to the OBC community. Out of 90 secretaries in the government of India, only three are from the OBC community. They control only 5 per cent of the country’s budget,” the Wayanad MP said amid chantings of “Shame!” by Congress MPs.

When Speaker Om Birla said that it was a discussion on women’s reservation bill, Gandhi said: “This is about transfer of power to women and OBCs.” He said that he supports the bill and agrees it’s an important step, but no reservation for OBC women is a “missing” link.

“I would like to see OBC reservation included in this bill. A large chunk of India’s population and India’s women should have access to this reservation, and that is missing in this bill,” he said.

Gandhi noted that two “strange” conditions about implementation of this bill are the requirements to conduct a census and a delimitation exercise. This, he said, was an anomaly and wondered why the bill couldn’t be implemented immediately.

The government, he said, tends to distract people from real issues like caste census and the Adani-Hindenburg matter.

Underlining the urgent requirement of a caste census, Gandhi said that only after this exercise is conducted, will the people get to know how many tribals, Dalits and OBCs are there in the country.

Amid protests from treasury benches, where Home Minister Amit Shah was also present, Gandhi said: “Don’t be scared, I am only talking about the caste census.”

“So please immediately pass and implement the women’s reservation bill and conduct the caste census. If you don’t do it, we will do it,” he said.

He even took a dig at the government for not inviting President Droupadi Murmu on the occasion of shifting to the new Parliament building on September 19.

“The building is nice but would have liked to see the President, who is a woman and a tribal, during the transfer from the old Parliament building to the new one,” he said.