Chandigarh: Taking a dig at the Union government, the Leader of the Opposition in Punjab, Partap Singh Bajwa, on Tuesday said the BJP “wants to take credit for the proposed Women’s Reservation Bill despite the fact it was the Congress that first dreamt of it”.
Bajwa said the BJP must know that “the Women’s Reservation Bill is the brainchild of the Congress”. It was former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who in May 1989 introduced the Constitution Amendment Bill to provide one-third reservation for women in rural and urban local bodies.
The Bill couldn’t get passed in the Rajya Sabha in September 1989.
“Again the minority government led by PM P.V. Narasimha Rao reintroduced the Constitution Amendment Bills 72 and 73, which reserved 33 per cent of all seats and chairperson posts for women in rural and urban local bodies. This time the bills got cleared by both Houses and became the law,” Bajwa said.
The Opposition leader said that the Women’s Reservation Bill, ensuring 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha was passed in the Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2010, under the Manmohan Singh government during UPA 1.
Referring to a news report, Bajwa said the proposed Bill which will provide 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, will only come into effect after the next delimitation exercise which is expected to be conducted after 2026.
“For the Congress, it’s like a dream come true. We have been yearning for the same for a long time now. It’s a victory for not only the Congress but also the UPA allies. The Congress welcomes the move though the BJP-led Union government seems to have become hungry for credit,” Bajwa added.