Hours after the Union Cabinet reportedly cleared the Women's Reservation Bill, Congress party welcomed the move which the grand old party has backed for years, while also remaining cautious about the contents of the Bill.
"We welcome the reported decision of the Union Cabinet and await the details of the Bill," Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh posted on X. "This could have very well been discussed in the all-party meeting before the Special Session, and consensus could have been built instead of operating under a veil of secrecy," the Congress leader said.
The first day of the Parliament Special Session in the new building will begin today, amid buzz that the Women's Reservation Bill may be the first legislation that could be passed in the new parliament building. "Remember, it was during the UPA government that the Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 9-3-2010. In its 10th year, the BJP is resurrecting the Bill that it had buried in the hope that the clamour for the Bill will die," Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said.
If the government introduces the Women's Reservation Bill tomorrow, it will be a victory for the Congress and its allies in the UPA government— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) September 18, 2023
Remember, it was during the UPA government that the Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 9-3-2010
In its 10th year, the BJP is…
"On the contrary, at every opportunity -- most recently at the CWC at Hyderabad -- the Congress has vociferously pleaded for the Bill to be passed in Parliament. Let's hope that the Bill will be introduced and passed in the ongoing Session," the former Union minister said.
The Congress also shared a 2018 social media post by then Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in which he demanded that the Women's Reservation Bill be passed. Gandhi's tweet, dated July 16, 2018, read: "Our PM says he's a crusader for women's empowerment? Time for him to rise above party politics, walk-his-talk & have the Women's Reservation Bill passed by Parliament. The Congress offers him its unconditional support."
Minister of State Prahlad Singh Patel on Monday posted on social media platform X that the Union Cabinet has approved the women's reservation bill. "Only the Modi government had the moral courage to fulfil the demand for women's reservation which was proved by the approval of the cabinet. Congratulations Narendra Modi ji and congratulations to the Modi government," he said in a post, which was later deleted.
Hoever, Congress retorted to these claims stating that the party has been supporting Women's Reservation bill. "The Congress party has for the past nine years been demanding that the Women's Reservation Bill already passed by the Rajya Sabha should now get passed by the Lok Sabha as well," Ramesh had said.
Ahead of the commencement of the session, Senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi said, "It is ours, Apna Hai," when asked by reporters about the Women's Reservation Bill. While the Narendra Modi-led BJP government gets the credit for the clearance of the bill, successive governments in the past have raised the matter of women's representation in Indian politics.