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Cong urges Modi to pass Women's Reservation Bill


The Congress on Tuesday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament and alleged the "anti-woman mindset of the RSS" was standing in his way.

Sushmita Dev

Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev demanded that the Bill be introduced and passed in the winter session of Parliament and implemented in the 2019 general elections.

"The question is why the Prime Minister is silent till today? I have no doubt that it is the ideals and principles and the mindset of the RSS which has always been anti-woman and against empowering women, politically and otherwise, that is standing in his way," she said.

The passage of the Bill would be just the beginning of the process, she added.

"Passing the Bill is step one - there are various other steps after that which have to be taken so that it is fully implemented in 2019," she told reporters here.

The Congress leader alleged that even after ruling for three and a half years, the prime minister had "done nothing" about his "self-proclaimed commitment" to the Bill, also mentioned in the BJP manifesto.

She demanded that the Bill be introduced in the Lok Sabha and constituencies be identified and reserved for women before the next general poll.

"Please make sure it is implemented in 2019," she said.

Dev, who is also the All India Mahila Congress chief, said she along with other party workers submitted a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind, carrying signatures of 32 lakh people for the early passage of the Bill.

While the delegation sought Kovind's support on this, she said all Mahila Congress district presidents would submit memorandums to the prime minister through district collectorates on October 31, demanding an early passage.

Dev said Congress president Sonia Gandhi wrote to Modi on September 21, assuring him of her party's support to the Bill, but Modi had not responded to or acknowledged the letter.

"The BJP in its own manifesto in 2014 said they were committed to 33 per cent reservation for women," she said, adding that the ruling party had not fulfilled its commitment towards women even after three and a half years.

"The Modi government has not only betrayed the youth, farmers and the poor but is also deceiving the political aspirations of 586 million women," she said.

Moving on to the social media, Dev asked if the government's National Informatics Centre had hired a private firm for its "online reputation management".

"I want to question the IT Minister ... is the NIC being used to help you with social media trending? Are you spending tax payers' money," she asked.

Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad must answer questions raised in the public domain, she said.


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