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'Women's Reservation Bill Incomplete': Rahul, Sonia Gandhi Demand OBC Sub-Quota

The Women's Reservation Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, 19 September.

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Addressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, 20 September, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi demanded quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC) within the 33 percent of seats proposed to be reserved for women in the Women's Reservation Bill.

"There is one thing in my view that makes this Bill incomplete. I think OBC reservation should have been included in this Bill," Gandhi said.

"The moment the Opposition raises the issue of caste census, the BJP tries to distract the people with the new issue so that the OBCs and the rest of the people look away," he said.

"Delimitation and census is not required, the bill should be immediately implemented," Gandhi added. The idea that you require new census and delimitation to implement this bill is strange, he said.

He also questioned why President Droupadi Murmu was absent from the grand inauguration of the new Parliament building. Gandhi also demanded that a caste census be conducted in the country.

"Only caste census can give the answer to the number of OBCs, Dalits and Adivasis in the country. I have a suggestion for the government. Pass the Women's Reservation Bill, get the caste census done as soon as possible and if you are not doing it, we will do it."
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Lok Sabha
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'Implement the Bill Immediately': Sonia Gandhi

"We support the Women's Reservation Bill," Sonia Gandhi said as the debate on the 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam' kicked off in Lok Sabha on Wednesday morning.

"For the first time, Constitutional amendment to decide women's representation in local body election was brought by my life partner Rajiv Gandhi. It was defeated in Rajya Sabha by seven votes. Later, Congress government, under the leadership of PM PV Narasimha Rao, passed it in Rajya Sabha. As a result, we have 15 lakh elected women leaders across the country through local bodies. Rajiv Gandhi's dream is only partially complete. It will complete with the passing of this Bill," she said.

But, she also listed the concerns of her party.

"Congress party supports this Bill. We are happy regarding the passing of the Bill but we are also concerned. I would like to ask a question. Indian women have been waiting for their political responsibilities for the last 13 years. Now, women are being asked to wait for the reservation more. How many years will they wait? Two years? Four years? six years? Eight years? Is this right? "
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi

"The Congress demands that this Bill be implemented immediately but there should be a caste census and the women of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBC must be given reservation too. The government should take all necessary steps for this," Gand

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The Women's Reservation Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, 19 September, by Union Minister of Law and Justice Arjun Ram Meghwal.

The bill proposes to reserve 33 percent seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislative Assemblies for women. If passed, it will come into effect after the first delimitation or redrawing of constituencies which is likely to take place in 2027, as per details of the legislation.

Read the highlights of the bill here.

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Topics:  Congress   Sonia Gandhi   Lok Sabha 

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