Govt intention something else, publicising Women’s Reservation Bill in view of polls: Kharge

New Delhi:- Ahead of the discussion on Women’s Reservation Bill in Lok Sabha, Congress President and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday questioned the intention of the government, and said he feels that the government is publicising this in view of elections.

Speaking to the media ahead of day three of the Parliament’s special session at his residence, Kharge said, “In 2010, we passed the Bill in Rajya Sabha. But it failed to be passed by the Lok Sabha. That is why this is not a new Bill.”

He said that had they taken that Bill forward, it would have been done quickly by this day.

“I feel that they are publicising this in view of elections but actually unless the delimitation or census takes place…you can feel how long it is going to take. They could have continued with the earlier one but their intentions are something else…,” he said.

He said, “But we will insist that women’s reservation has to be brought and we will fully cooperate. 

“But the loopholes and drawbacks should be rectified,” Kharge added.

His remarks came a day after the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, was introduced in the Lok Sabha in the supplementary list of business.

The Women’s Reservation Bill has proposed that the reservation would continue for a period of 15 years and there will be a quota for SC and STs within the reserved seats for women. The legislation, however, is unlikely to be implemented in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, sources said.

It will be rolled out only after the delimitation process is over, most probably in 2029, they added.

The reservation will come into effect after a delimitation exercise is undertaken and will continue for 15 years. Seats reserved for women will be rotated after each delimitation exercise, according to the Bill.

The government said women participate substantively in panchayats and municipal bodies, but their representation in Assemblies, Parliament is still limited.

Women bring different perspectives and enrich the quality of legislative debates and decision-making, it added.

The Congress has dubbed the Bill as a “poll jumla” and also a betrayal with women and girls of the country.