In his letter, Gandhi also said that Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev had also written to all party-led state governments in this regard on Nov 23.
New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has written to the chief ministers of states where the party is in power or in an alliance to have a resolution passed in their assemblies seeking one-third reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state elections.
In his letter to the Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, Mr Gandhi noted that the Rajya Sabha passed the 108th constitutional am-endment bill in 2010, but it lapsed after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014. “The Congress and several parties have called on the Prime Minister to ensure the passage of the women’s reserv-ation bill and pledged their support,” the letter read. While the opponents of the bill have cast doubts on the ability of women to affect change, the leadership role taken by women after the 73rd and 73th constitutional amendments have proved the detractors wrong,” he said in his letter. In his letter, Mr Gandhi also said that Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev had also written to all party-led state governments in this regard on November 23. The legislative assemblies of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have already taken a lead and passed a resolution calling on the central government to enact the women’s reservation bill, he added. He said India ranks 148 out of 193 countries in terms of the percentage of women in parliament. The situation was “even worse in state assemblies,” he wrote.
Mr Gandhi’s letter comes just days before the start of the winter session of Parliament. Ahead of Parliament’s monsoon session, Gandhi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to “demonstrate his commitment to the cause of women”, and ensure the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill during that session. Besides Mr Gandhi, Odisha chief minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik, too, on Thursday had written to all chief ministers seeking their support to ensure 33 per cent reservation for women.