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Rahul Gandhi Bats for Women's Reservation Bill, Writes to Congress CMs to Support Resolution

Pointing out that India ranks 148 out of 193 countries in terms of the percentage of women in Parliament, Gandhi said the situation was 'even worse in state assemblies'.


Updated:December 10, 2018, 11:03 AM IST
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New Delhi: In a move ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has written to chief ministers of states where the party is in power or in a coalition to have a resolution passed in their respective assemblies seeking one-third reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies.

"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," Gandhi said in the letter written to Congress and its allied chief ministers.

Pointing out that India ranks 148 out of 193 countries in terms of the percentage of women in Parliament, Gandhi said the situation was "even worse in state assemblies".

"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," said Gandhi in his December 6 letter.

The Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha in 2010 but lapsed after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014. Besides 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.

Gandhi's letter comes just days before the start of the Winter Session of Parliament. Ahead of Parliament's Monsoon Session, Gandhi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to "demonstrate his commitment to the cause of women", and ensure the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill during that session.

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