Women's Reservation Bill: Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Uma Bharti on Saturday said that that she will oppose the implementation of the Women's Reservation Bill unless it incorporates provisions for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
"I represent half of the population of the country. We have accepted the bill which accounts for 33 per cent of reservation to women, but I will not let the bill get implemented unless it takes into account the OBCs", Bharti said while speaking to reporters in Bhopal. She further said that the backward class people account for a major section of society. The BJP leader also appealed to the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister to provide 50 per cent reservation to women in the upcoming elections and that too with reservation to women belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe included.
Uma Bharti writes to PM Modi
Earlier, Bharti addressed a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the introduction of the Women's Reservation Bill. In her letter, she urged that out of the 33 per cent reservation designated for women in legislative bodies, 50 per cent should be allocated for Scheduled Tribes (ST), Scheduled Castes (SC), and Other Backward Classes (OBC) communities.
In her letter, she said "The introduction of the women's reservation Bill in the parliament is a matter of happiness for the women of the country. When this special reservation was presented in the House by the then Prime Minister Deve Gowda in 1996, I was a member of Parliament. I immediately stood up and moved an amendment to this Bill and more than half of the House supported me. Deve Gowda happily accepted the amendment. He announced the handing over of the Bill to the Standing Committee."
50% to be set aside for ST, SC and OBC women
She further presented a proposal for an amendment of 50 per cent to be set aside for ST, SC and OBC women out of 33 per cent reserved seats and hoped that this Bill passed with the proposed amendments.
"There is a provision for special reservations for backward caste women in Panchayati Raj and local bodies. Backward women from the Muslim community, recognised as such by the Mandal Commission, should also be considered for reservation in legislative bodies. If this Bill is passed without this special provision, then the women from the backward classes will be deprived of this special opportunity," she added.
The BJP leader said that the backward, Dalit and tribal sections of the country are confident that the government will clear the Bill after taking interests into consideration.
Women Quota Bill passed in Parliament
The Women Quota Bill, which provides for 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha as well as the state legislative assemblies, was passed in Parliament during the special session. The Bill got the nod of the Lok Sabha as it was passed with a brute majority of 454 votes in favour and just 2 against. While in Rajya Sabha the bill was cleared with 214 members voting in support and none against. Even as some Opposition members flagged concerns over the delay in implementation of the Bill, the Centre maintained that it would implemented after due process.
The Rajya Sabha had earlier passed the Women's Reservation Bill in 2010 during the Congress-led UPA government but it was not taken up in the Lok Sabha and subsequently lapsed in the Lower House.
(With ANI inputs)