Sonia Gandhi Supports Women’s Reservation Bill But Questions Delay, Pushes For OBC Quota: Read Here!

Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, offered her party’s support and launched the discussion on the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha.

Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Congress in parliament, opened the debate on the Women’s Reservation Bill on Wednesday by expressing support for it. She claimed that it was Rajiv Gandhi’s dream but questioned the delay in its execution. She uttered, “Immediate implementation of women’s reservation bill by removing all obstacles not only necessary but also possible,” adding that “any delay in implementing women’s reservation bill will be a gross injustice to Indian women.”

She stated in Lok Sabha that her party’s demand is: “Congress demands that women’s quota bill be implemented immediately with sub-quota for SCs, STs, OBCs.” She expressed her support for the bill’s approval and said: “It is a very touching moment of my life. The first time, the Constitutional Amendment determining women’s participation in local bodies was brought by my life partner Rajiv Gandhi.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong argument in favor of the law before it was introduced in the Lok Sabha, saying the administration wants more and more women to participate in the nation’s growth. “For that work of giving power to women and for many such noble works, God has chosen me. Once again our government has taken a step in this direction,” he asserted.

The Congress and other Opposition parties referred to the measure as an election “jumla” while the Bharatiya Janata Party hailed it as historic and the product of Modi’s visionary leadership. To give women 33% of the seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, the Narishakti Vandan Bill was presented to the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The measure calls for a 15-year reservation, and within that reservation, a quota will be set aside for women from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe. 

The reservation won’t take effect until a delimitation exercise is finished, thus implementation of the measure might still take some time and is unlikely to be in place for the impending 2024 Lok Sabha elections.  A supplementary list of business included the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, for presentation in the Lower House. Following a delimitation exercise, the reservation of “as nearly as may be, one-third of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election” will go into force and last for 15 years. After each future delimitation exercise, the seats designated for women will be switched.