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Congress "Reluctantly" Backed Women's Reservation Bill, Says PM; Likens Party To "Rusted Iron"

Addressing a gathering of BJP workers, 'Karyakarta Mahakumb', in Bhopal, Modi also likened the Congress to "rusted iron" and alleged its functioning has been outsourced to "urban Naxals" and that the party is not run by leaders. According to a top BJP leader, the event was attended by more than five lakh workers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
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Sounding the poll bugle in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan with back-to-back rallies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday targeted the Congress over the women's reservation bill, saying the opposition party and its partners in the new "ghamandia" alliance "reluctantly" supported the historic step.

The prime minister's attack on the Congress during his massive rallies in Bhopal and Jaipur came on a day when 21 women leaders of the rival party held news conferences in 21 cities as part of what the party said its strategy to "expose the Modi government" on the women's reservation bill which secured Parliamentary approval last Thursday. The Congress hit back asking why has Modi played a "cruel joke" on the women of the country.

MP and Rajasthan are among the five states where Assembly elections are due later this year.

Addressing a gathering of BJP workers, 'Karyakarta Mahakumb', in Bhopal, Modi also likened the Congress to "rusted iron" and alleged its functioning has been outsourced to "urban Naxals" and that the party is not run by leaders. According to a top BJP leader, the event was attended by more than five lakh workers.

Modi also spoke about the passage of the women's reservation bill while addressing a BJP event in Delhi after unveiling a statue of the party's ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya on his birth anniversary, saying it is not only a win for democracy but also of the party's ideology. Without appropriate participation of women in politics, one cannot talk about inclusive society and democratic integration, he added.

BRS MLC K Kavitha, meanwhile, said it is due to the efforts of her party that the long pending proposal to provide for reservation to women was finally cleared by Parliament and that the nation is able to stand alongside other countries with its head held high.

“I can assert that the BRS party is the reason for bringing up the women's reservation bill and making this country stand alongside other nations holding its head high,” she told a rally in Nizamabad in Telangana.

In Madhya Pradesh, Modi warned people that if given an opportunity, the Congress will backtrack on the bill that seeks to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in Parliament and state assemblies.

The mega gathering of workers was organised to mark the formal culmination of the saffron party's 'Jan Ashirwad Yatras' that crisscrossed the length and breadth of Madhya Pradesh.

Modi said he wanted to caution women of MP as the "ghamandia" INDIA alliance has "reluctantly" supported the women's quota bill. The prime minister has often attacked the opposition INDIA bloc as "ghamandia" (arrogant).

"The Congress and its allies in the 'ghamandia' (arrogant) bloc (INDIA) supported the women's reservation bill out of compulsion and hesitation as they understood the power of 'nari shakti'. Its passage (in Parliament) became possible as 'Modi hai to Mumkin hai'. Modi means the guarantee of fulfilling guarantees."

Modi slammed the Congress and its allies for not ensuring the passage of the legislation when they were in power at the Centre.

"Its(Congress) allies hampered the passage of the bill for the last 30 years. Now they raise their hand out of compulsion as women are awakened," he said, and asked, "They ran the government for decades with a majority but why they did not push the bill through?"

He said women should remain alert against the efforts to divide them and added that the opposition will try to find chinks in the legislation.

Addressing a BJP rally later in Jaipur, Modi said it was never the Congress' intention to empower women, else it could have passed a women's reservation bill during its rule, adding the party now supported the step under pressure from women.

The "Parivartan Sankalp Mahasabha" marked the culmination of four 'Parivartan Yatras' that BJP took out in Rajasthan.

Modi further said the Congress and its "ghamandiya" partners are staunch opponents of women's reservation.

“Congress never had the intention to empower the women of the country. The Congressmen who are talking about women's reservation today could have done this thirty years ago or when they got the chance, but the truth is that the Congressmen never wanted women to get 33 percent reservation,” he said.

“Even today, if they have come in support of the Nari Shakti Vandan bill, then they have come in a direct line as a result of pressure from all the sisters.  He said that those who had stopped this bill during the UPA government are trying to divert such a big decision of empowering women, they are still putting pressure on it, hence the women have to be very cautious."

Earlier, he was welcomed by the BJP Mahila Morcha cadre at the meeting venue.

The prime minister reached the venue in Dadiya village in Vatika on the outskirts of Jaipur from a nearby helipad in an open-top vehicle escorted by activists of the BJP's women wing who raised slogans in his support.

AICC spokesperson Mahima Singh said though the women's reservation  bill has been passed by Parliament, it cannot be implemented till the next census is completed and this is typical of the BJP's agenda of  "wait for your rights but vote for us now".

''Why has Prime Minister Narendra Modi played the cruel joke on the women of this country as he has asked us to wait yet again, to claim our political right of representation?'' Singh asked at a press conference in Guwahati. 

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-With PTI Input

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