Exercise was to create poll issue without implementing it: Congress after passage of women's reservation bill

NEW DELHI: Hitting out at the BJP a day after the women's reservation bill was passed by Parliament, the Congress on Friday said delimitation and census were "poor excuses" for the postponement of the women's quota and alleged that the entire exercise was to create an election issue, without actually implementing it.

The bill to reserve one-third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women received the parliamentary nod on Thursday as the Rajya Sabha unanimously voted in its favour.

In a post on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said: "The Congress Party moved amendments to the Women's Reservation Bill last night in the Rajya Sabha. These amendments would have ensured: Implementation of the reservation from the 2024 Lok Sabha elections itself."

The amendments would have ensured reservation for women from the Other Backward Classes (OBC), in addition to the reservation for women belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), Ramesh said.

The two amendments put forward by the Congress were eminently doable but both were rejected, he added.

"The BJP stands exposed on its REAL intentions. Delimitation and Census are poor excuses for postponement," the Congress leader said.

"The whole exercise was to create an election issue for a jaded and about-to-be-faded PM without actually implementing it," he added.

Unlike the Lok Sabha, where two of the 456 MPs present in the House voted against the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, all the 214 lawmakers present in the Rajya Sabha voted in its favour.

The bill provides for 33 per cent 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 exercises.

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