As Modi takes credit for Women’s quota Bill, Rahul Gandhi demands caste-based census


Prime Minister Narendra Modi being garlanded by women beneficiaries of various govt schemes during the Nari Shakti Vandan-Abhinandan Karyakram, at party headquarters, in New Delhi on Friday (ANI)

Congress MP says his party will conduct a caste census once it returns to power and the country will then know the total of OBCs, Dalits and tribal communities

Our Bureau
New Delhi

The Women Reservation Bill, which seeks to guarantee 33 per quota for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies, was passed by Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Reservation for women in Parliament and Legislative assemblies has been a promise of many parties, including the BJP for years. The Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha way back in 2010. 

The Prime Minister congratulated all women of the country on the historic move of passing the Women’s Reservation Bill with an overwhelming majority in both Houses of Parliament. “Today, I congratulate all women of the country. Yesterday and the day before, we witnessed the making of a new history. It is our fortune that crores of people gave us the opportunity to create that history,” the PM said.

He further said, “This decision and this day will be discussed for many generations to come. I congratulate the entire country for passing the ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Act’ with an overwhelming majority in both the Houses of Parliament.”

“Sometimes a decision has the potential to change the destiny of a country. Today we all have become witnesses of one such decision” the Prime Minister added.

PM Modi said that the dream for which the country has been waiting for the last several decades has now come true. “’Nari Shakti Vandan Act’ has been passed by both the houses of the Parliament with record votes. The dream for which the country was waiting for the last several decades has now come true,” he said.

He added, “The passing of this bill in both houses of the Parliament shows how a country with a majority government can work. We never let anyone’s political self-interests obstruct women’s reservation.”

He said that in the last 9 years, the BJP-led central government has tried to break every restriction related to mothers and sisters. “Our government has made such schemes, one after the other and started such programs so that our sisters get a life of respect, convenience, security and prosperity. Our BJP government has had the privilege of fulfilling the dreams of millions of mothers and sisters. Therefore, as a party that considers the nation first, as BJP workers, as responsible citizens, it is a matter of pride for us,” he added.

During the event, PM Modi was felicitated by the women workers of the BJP, to whom the Prime Minister bowed as a mark of respect.

But Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Friday expressed his regret that the Other Backward Class (OBC) quota was not provided under the Bill brought by United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in 2010. Addressing a press conference at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi said, “100 per cent regret hai. This should have been done then. We will get this done.”

Rahul Gandhi demanded that the data of the previous caste census be released immediately and that a fresh caste census should be held to determine the population of OBCs and other weaker sections. “What is this delay in the census? Caste census should be done now, and the last caste census data should be released at once,” Rahul Gandhi said.

He added that the Congress government will conduct a caste census once it returns to power and added that the country will then know the total of OBCs, Dalits and tribal communities here.

He further said that PM Modi speaks of OBCs every day but doesn’t understand what is being done for them. “I spoke of one institution in Parliament, that which runs the Government of India – Cabinet secretary and secretaries… If they work for OBC, then why are only 3 out of 90 secretaries from OBC? How much and what are these OBC officers controlling the country’s budget? I don’t understand that PM Modi speaks of OBCs every day but what did he do for them?”, he said. He further alleged that OBC MPs have been made idols who have no power at all. “I want to find out how many OBCs there are in India and how much participation they get. OBCs should get as much share as the percentage of the population that they form. You ask any BJP MP whether he takes any decision? Participate in law-making? no way. OBC MPs have been made idols, who have no power at all,” he added.

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