Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the women’s reservation bill is incomplete without the provision for quota for other backward classes. He expressed his support for the bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha, and batted for its immediate implementation. Not only this, he made a strong pitch for a caste census saying it should be conducted as early as possible so that OBCs can be empowered.
“There are 90 secretaries of the Government of India… How many of the 90 people come from the OBC community? I was shocked and shattered by the answer… I want to answer this… Only three secretaries belong to the OBC community…” Gandhi said, adding they control only 5 percent of the Budget, which was an “insult” to the backward classes.
He said the preconditions of the new census and delimitation were “absurd”. “This bill should be implemented immediately,” he added.
Gandhi once again brought up the Adani issue in Parliament and said the BJP wants to divert public attention from it. “India gave the right to vote to every section of society as a means of transfer of power to the people; today, we are fighting forces who want to take that power from people,” he said, adding that a massive step forward in the transfer of power to the women of India was Panchayati Raj, where they were given reservation and were allowed to enter the political system at scale.
“And this (bill) is another step. It’s a big step, it’s not a small step,” the former Congress president said, adding, “there is one thing in my view that makes this bill incomplete. I would like to have seen the OBC reservation included in this bill.”
“I think it is very important that a large chunk of India’s population, a large chunk of India’s women should have access to this reservation and that is missing in this bill,” he said.
Earlier in the day, initiating the debate on the bill from the opposition’s side, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi extended her party’s support to it but demanded that the quota be implemented immediately and provision made for reservation for OBC women.
The women’s reservation bill provides for 33 percent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. The reservation will come into effect only after the completion of the census and delimitation exercise.
With inputs from News18