Wed, 29 Nov 2023

New Delhi [India], September 21 (ANI): Coming down heavily on Union Home Minister Amit Shah over his remarks explaining the rationale behind the formation of a Delimitation Committee amid calls from the Opposition to implement the draft women's quota law at the earliest, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Wednesday said his statement was "hypocritical" as a promise made in the BJP's 2014 manifesto for a Bill that had been in limbo for long, took 9 years to clear the first legislative hurdle in Parliament.

Speaking to ANI after the draft legislation was passed by a brute majority in the Lok Sabha, Chaturvedi said, "His (Amit Shah's) statement was hypocritical as the BJP made an electoral commitment to women 9 years ago, in its manifesto for the 2014 (Lok Sabha) elections, to bring a women's reservation law. Despite them (BJP) being the largest single party (in the 2014 and 2019 LS polls) and many in the Opposition raising a chorus for the Bill, it took them 9 years to bring it to fruition. It was hypocritical also because of the (contentious) clause that the implementation of the law is subject to a census and a delimitation exercise. The census has been delayed since 2021."Earlier, on Wednesday, Shah, during the debate on the women's reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha, said the census and delimitation exercises would be conducted after the Lok Sabha polls next year and the women's quota law will come into effect thereafter.

"The census and delimitation exercises will be conducted soon after the (next general) elections and women will have a greater voice in the Parliament," the Union Home minister said.

Taking a further swipe at the BJP over the women's quota Bill, Chaturvedi said, "The census, which has been delayed since 2021, is not likely to happen this year either. My sense is that the delimitation won't take place before 2029. Things might get a move-on thereafter as a new census is expected in 2031. They are merely hanging the Bill as a carrot to lure women voters. However, the women will see through their ploy and teach them a lesson (in 2024)," the Sena (UBT) MP said.

The women's reservation Bill, which seeks to provide a 33 per cent quota for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, was introduced in the lower House as part of the legislative agenda of the ongoing Special Session of Parliament, on Wednesday.

The Union Cabinet approved the women's reservation Bill on Monday, setting the stage for it to be tabled in Parliament.

Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Tuesday introduced the Bill in the first sitting of Lok Sabha in the new Parliament building. It was named 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam'.

In 2008, the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government tabled the Bill in the Rajya Sabha and it cleared the legislative hurdle in the Upper House in 2010. However, the Bill wasn't taken up for discussion and passage in the Lower House.

On the ongoing diplomatic standoff between India and Canada over the allegation of involvement of "Indian agents" in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the MP said the charges levelled by the Canadian administration are "baseless".

"The escalation from Canada, totally ignoring our concerns of growing anti-India sentiment in the country, is unfortunate. The escalation by the Prime Minister of Canada, personally naming India and levelling baseless charges is uncalled for. It goes against the interest of ensuring global security. Senior ministers in the Canadian Cabinet have made disparaging remarks about India. Canada draws the highest number of overseas students from India. Such irresponsible statements from their senior leaders are a cause for concern. It is surprising that other member-states (of the G20) haven't called out Canada's irresponsible behaviour," she added. (ANI)

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