Pass Women’s Reservation Bill in LS: Sonia

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Congress president ought to have written to her alliance partners instead: BJP

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to get the long-pending Women’s Reservation Bill passed in the Lok Sabha, taking advantage of the majority the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) enjoys in the House.This comes at a time when there is speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning to bring the Bill, possibly in a changed format, to try and woo the women’s constituency.

Ms. Gandhi, who worked very hard to get the Bill passed during the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) tenure, party sources say, is therefore trying to pre-empt any such effort by the BJP. The UPA succeeded in getting the Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2010.In her letter, Ms. Gandhi has assured Mr. Modi of her party’s support to the law that she said would be a significant step forward in the empowerment of women.

“I am writing to request you to take advantage of your majority in the Lok Sabha to now get the Women’s Reservation Bill passed in the Lower House as well,” Ms. Gandhi says in the letter, dated September 20.Addressing a press conference here, the new Congress women’s wing chief, Sushmita Dev, questioned the alleged delay by the government in ensuring the passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha. The BJP, she said, should show that its commitment towards the legislation is not mere “symbolism”.

Mr. Modi must assure the country’s women that the Bill will be passed soon so that in the next General Elections in 2019, it can be implemented, she said, pointing out that given the work that will have to be done once the Bill is passed, the government needs to get going with the business “right now”

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