Women’s reservation bill incomplete without OBC quota: Rahul Gandhi in Lok Sabha

PTI, Sep 20, 2023, 8:01 PM IST

Source: PTI / File

New Delhi: Expressing support for the women’s reservation bill in Lok Sabha, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday batted for its immediate implementation and said that the legislation is ”incomplete” without provision for quota for OBCs.

Participating in a discussion on the bill, Gandhi also made a strong pitch for a caste census.

He claimed that out of 90 secretaries of the government of India, only three are from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) and control only five percent of the Budget, which he said was an ”insult” to the backward classes.

Recalling the discussion on Sengol and the transfer of power from the British, the former Congress chief said the revolutionary answer that the freedom movement leaders gave to the British was that the transfer of power was to the people of India.

”It’s been a constant transfer of power, more and more and more power to the people of India on one side and the other side, the counter idea that takes away power from the people of India,” Gandhi said.

”This is the fight that is going on. And in fact, in many ways, it is the fight that is taking place today. A huge step forward in the transfer of power to the women of India was Panchayati Raj, where they were given reservation and they were allowed to enter the political system at scale.

”And this (bill) is another step. It’s a big step, it’s is not a small step,” the former Congress president said.

”There is one thing in my view that makes this bill incomplete. I would like to have seen the OBC reservation included in this bill,” he said.

Gandhi said, ”I think it is very important that a large chunk of India’s population, a large chunk of India’s women should have access to this reservation and that is missing in this bill.” He also said that the idea that a new census and delimitation are required to implement the bill seems ”strange” to him.

This bill can be implemented today by giving 33 per cent of the seats in the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha to India’s women, Gandhi said.

”And so I wonder if this is not designed to push the ball forward? To push the ball forward by seven, eight, nine years and then let this thing play out the way it does,” he said.

Taking a swipe at the BJP leaders, Gandhi said they like to divert the people’s attention away from various issues.

”There is, of course, the Adani issue. They always want to take the attention away from it,” he alleged.

In his remarks in the Lower House, Gandhi also took a swipe at the government over the events held around the inauguration of and the move to the new Parliament building.

”I would like to say this is quite a nice building. Nice peacocks, nice peacock feathers on the ground, nice peacock feathers on the chair. It’s a nice, tasteful building. But frankly, I would have liked to see the President of India in this process,” Gandhi said.

”The President of India is a woman, she represents the tribal community, and it would have been befitting to have her visible in this transfer from one House to another,” he said.

Gandhi also alleged that the government likes to distract the attention of the people from the demand for caste census.

”For some reason, and I don’t quite understand what the reason is. The moment the opposition raises the issue of the caste census, the BJP tries to create a new distraction, a new sudden event, so that the OBC community and the people of India look the other way,” he alleged.

Gandhi said he researched to understand what is the participation of the OBC community in various institutions of the country.

”Ninety secretaries are responsible for managing the core of the Government of India. And I asked myself the question how many of the 90 people come from the OBC community and I was shocked and shattered by the answer…Only three are from the OBC community and control only five per cent of the Budget,” he said.

”This is an insult and shame to the OBC community. So the question arises, how many OBCs, Dalits and Adivasis are there, and the answer to that is through the caste census,” he said.

Gandhi urged the government to bring the reservation for women into effect immediately, contending that census and delimitation were not required for it.

He also called on the government to change the situation where out of 90 secretaries only three are from the OBC community.

”So, I urge you to get a caste census done. Release the data of the caste census we had gotten done and if you don’t, we will do it,” he said.

Earlier in the day, initiating the debate on the bill from the opposition’s side, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi extended her party’s support to it but demanded that the quota be implemented immediately and provision made for reservation for OBC women.

After the House proceedings began, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Wednesday moved the women’s reservation bill for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha, saying it is a step towards women empowerment.

The constitutional amendment bill was introduced in the Lower House on Tuesday. It was the first bill introduced in the new Parliament building.

The bill provides for 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. The reservation will come into effect only after the completion of the census and delimitation exercise.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Rich nations should completely reduce their carbon footprint ‘well before’ 2050: PM Modi

4th T20I: Australia opt to bowl as India make four changes in playing eleven

TN Guv can’t refer readopted Bills to Prez after withholding consent, says SC; asks Raj Bhavan to end impasse with CM

India proposes to host UN climate conference in 2028; launches Green Credit Initiative

Navy Chief assures efforts to repatriate ex-Navy personnel on death row in Qatar

B’luru school bomb case: Communal content in threat emails raise concern among authorities

Marsh defends controversial act of resting feet on World Cup trophy

Related Articles More

10-day Hornbill festival gets off to colourful start in Nagaland

‘Maximum global talk, minimum local walk’: Congress targets PM on his speech at COP-28

Nagarjuna Sagar dam row: ‘Andhra, Telangana agree to revert to water release terms as on Nov 28’

Cocaine worth Rs 220 crore seized from ship at Paradip port in Odisha

Nagarjuna Sagar dam row: Cases booked against Andhra Pradesh Police



Halalban by Uttarapradesh government

Unnakki utsava Mudigere

Singer Gurukiran speaking about Kambala

Bangalore kambala preparations

Latest Additions

10-day Hornbill festival gets off to colourful start in Nagaland

‘Maximum global talk, minimum local walk’: Congress targets PM on his speech at COP-28

Nagarjuna Sagar dam row: ‘Andhra, Telangana agree to revert to water release terms as on Nov 28’

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza resume after weeklong truce with Hamas ends

Rich nations should completely reduce their carbon footprint ‘well before’ 2050: PM Modi

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.