Friday, December 1, 2023

RJD, YSRCP Demand Inclusion of OBC Women in Women’s Reservation Bill

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In a recent discussion on the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha, members of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) voiced their suggestions and demands regarding the legislation.

Manoj Jha, representing the RJD in the Rajya Sabha, urged that women from Other Backward Classes (OBCs) should be included in the Women’s Reservation Bill. He proposed sending the bill to a select committee to incorporate OBCs alongside Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs). Jha emphasized the need for this inclusion and noted that discussions should focus not only on the bill’s passage in the Lok Sabha but also on addressing injustices faced by OBC women.

Drawing inspiration from the late political leader Sarojini Naidu, who advocated for “equal representation” in legislatures, Jha questioned why the bill proposes a 33% reservation for women and not a higher percentage, such as 50% or 55%.

Prior to Jha’s remarks, V Vijayasai Reddy, a member of the YSRCP, called for the reservation of women in the Upper House and state legislative councils. He appealed to Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal to consider this proposal. The YSRCP has often supported various bills brought by the BJP-led government.

Reddy also suggested designating the month of September as “women’s history month,” emphasizing the importance of recognizing and celebrating women’s contributions to history.

As currently presented in Parliament, the new Women’s Reservation Bill will become effective following the completion of the decennial census and the delimitation of constituencies. Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal introduced the bill, known as the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, during the Lok Sabha’s inaugural session in the new Parliament complex. It was subsequently passed by the Lower House on Wednesday.

The Women’s Reservation Bill seeks to ensure a 33% quota for women in both the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, fulfilling a longstanding promise of various political parties, including the BJP.

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