The Centre has stalled a move to bring legislation providing 50 per cent quota to women in Panchayat elections.
A Constitutional Amendment Bill seeking reservation of half of the total seats in all three tiers of rural local bodies ( gram panchayats, panchayat samitis and zilla parishads ) for women has faced resistance especially from BJP ruled state Uttar Pradesh, reported The Indian Express.
The Ministry of Panchayat has now left it to the states to bring in their own legislation, the report adds.
Apart from the 20 states that do already have laws in place to reserve half of the seats in rural local bodies for women, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Goa and Jammu and Kashmir- all BJP-ruled are yet to follow suit.
This is against the backdrop of reports that the NDA government may soon introduce in Parliament the Women's Reservation Bill.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi had written the Prime Minister a letter seeking the passing of the Bill that reserves one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women, and assured the PM of Congress' support.
BJP leaders claimed that Gandhi was doing politics over the matter and said the UPA government did not introduce the bill in the Lok Sabha as it could not overcome opposition from within its own ranks.
However, a senior BJP leader had said top echelons of the government and the party have been brainstorming over the bill, which had polarised the political class whenever various governments introduced it earlier.
The bill is unique in the way it has polarised opinions as despite getting public support from all major national parties, including the BJP, Congress and the Left, it has drawn fierce opposition from some regional outfits and MPs from backward classes.
A strong view within the BJP is that if its government succeeds in getting this constitutional amendment bill passed in Parliament, then it can upend conventional political faultlines and boost its prospects ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.
(Inputs from agencies)