The passage of Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament will be Congress's top priority if it comes to power in the general election, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said today.
"The first thing we will do when we win the 2019 election is to pass the Women's Reservation Bill in the Parliament," Mr Gandhi said as he addressed booth workers in Kerala's Cochin.
The Congress President also said more women representatives will be appointed at all levels in the party. "We want to see more women in the position of leadership," Mr Gandhi said.
In a tweet, Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor said: "Congress President @RahulGandhi begins his speech with a commitment to pass the Women's Reservation Bill and appoint more women & youth representatives at all levels."
The bill, which seeks to reserve one-third of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies, was introduced by Congress-led UPA government in May 2008. It also seeks to reserve one-third of the total number of seats for women in Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. However, the bill has been pending for a long time over lack of consensus.
Mr Gandhi's "commitment" on getting the Women's Reservation bill passed in parliament comes a day after he said that his party, if it wins in Lok Sabha polls, will launch a scheme that will provide guaranteed income to the poor people of the country. Sources in the party say that the party could promise an income of Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,800 for individuals under a certain economic level.
However, his minimum income guarantee plan came under attack from the rival parties. BJP dismissed it as a gimmick. BSP Chief Mayawati called it a "cruel joke", and said: "Is this promise another cruel joke like the Congress's promise of "garibi hatao"."
(With inputs from agencies)
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