Congress president Rahul Gandhi has written to the chief ministers of states where the party is in power or in an alliance to have a resolution passed in their assemblies seeking one-third reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state elections.
"In order to reaffirm our support for the passage of the Bill, it would be expedient for the state assembly to pass a resolution calling for the reservation of one-third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies for women, in the next session," Mr Gandhi said in the letter.
He said India ranks 148 out of 193 countries in terms of the percentage of women in parliament. The situation was "even worse in state assemblies", he wrote.
"The lack of adequate representation of women in our polity undermines our democracy and perpetuates existing systemic injustices. Women in institutions of local self-governance have not only been effective leaders, but also challenged traditional gender roles that curtailed their participation in public life," Mr Gandhi said in the letter on Thursday.
The bill on this matter was passed in the Rajya Sabha in 2010 but lapsed after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.
Besides Mr Gandhi, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik, too, on Thursday had written to all chief ministers seeking their support to ensure 33 per cent reservation for women.