- Time for (PM Modi) to rise above party politics: Rahul Gandhi
- Bill aims to reserve a third of parliament, legislature seats for women
- The bill has been opposed by men across party lines
Rahul Gandhi's latest challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a letter of unconditional support. On a bill that has proved difficult to pass for eight years.
"Time for (PM Modi) to rise above party politics, walk-his-talk and have the Women's Reservation Bill passed by parliament. The Congress offers him its unconditional support," tweeted the Congress president, posting a letter urging the Prime Minister to pass the bill in the monsoon session of parliament starting Wednesday.
The bill, which aims to reserve a third of seats in parliament and legislatures for women, was passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2010 but is yet to clear the Lok Sabha. The latest version of the bill says for the Lok Sabha, a third of all constituencies will be reserved for women on a rotation basis.
"Mr Prime Minister, in many of your public rallies you have spoken about your passion for empowering women and involving them more meaningfully in public life. What better way to demonstrate your commitment to the cause of women than by offering your unconditional support to the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill? And what better time, than the upcoming session of parliament?" Rahul Gandhi says in the letter, adding that any more delay would make it impossible to implement before the next general election.
The Congress chief also said his part has collected over 3.2 million signatures in support of the bill.
The women's quota bill has been opposed by men across party lines and parties like the RJD of Lalu Yadav and the Samajwadi Party have officially opposed it.
The proposed law was first introduced in parliament in 1996 by the HD Deve Gowda government but no government has passed it yet.
The bill lapsed in 2014. Last year, Rahul Gandhi's mother and former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to PM Modi urging him to pass the bill in the Lok Sabha with his party's majority.
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