KCR's Daughter K Kavitha Holds Hunger Strike At Delhi's Jantar Mantar, Opposition Unity On Show

K Kavitha has said that leaders of 18 parties, including Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, National Conference, Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal and Samajwadi Party, are likely to participate in the day-long protest in front of Jantar Mantar on Friday. 

K. Kavitha at a protest

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter and senior leader of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) K Kavitha staged a day-long hunger strike in Delhi's iconic Jantar Mantar on Friday to demand the introduction of the Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament. The protest witnessed a massive show of strength from opposition leaders including the Aam Aadmi Party's Sanjay Singh, Nationalist Congress Party leader Seema Malik, CPI(M) leader and former member of the National Council For Women (NCW) Subhashini Ali, Samajwadi Party's Pooja Shukla, among others.

"The slogans raised today in support of tabling Women’s Reservation Bill at Jantar Mantar will echo louder than ever before in the Parliament, the women of India want this to be a reality," Kavitha said in one of her tweets, sharing photos from the protest site.

Trinamool Congress and Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena faction are also on the list of parties expected to join the protest.

This comes a day before her questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Delhi liquor policy scam.

Speaking to reporters, Kavitha said, "We released a poster on March 2 about the hunger strike in Delhi over the Women's Reservation Bill. ED summoned me on March 9. I requested for March 16, but don't know what haste they're in, so I agreed for March 11."

The Bill proposes a Constitutional amendment to reserve 1/3 of the seats in Lok Sabha and Assemblies. According to the senior leader, the BJP had promised to  BJP had promised to implement the legislation in the run-up to the 2014 and 2019 general elections but has not yet done so. 

Ahead of the protest, Kavitha also reached out to Congress to seek support. The move is of political significance, as this is the first time when a leader from KCR's inner circle has reached out to the Congress while heaping praises on Sonia Gandhi. 

"I must thank Sonia Gandhi for making efforts to not only introduce the (women's reservation) Bill but also convince introduce the (women's reservation) Bill but also convince parties to come together and pass the Bill during the Congress regime," she said and also acknowledged the efforts taken by former BJP PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. 

To counter the protest, the BJP is also staging ‘Mahila Gosa-BJP Bharosa’ led by its state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar along with senior leaders D.K. Aruna and Vijayashanti, to highlight the ‘injustices done to women in Telangana’ under Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao.