'…only one family's women': Smriti Irani's dig at Congress over reservation bill

Sep 19, 2023 06:11 PM IST

Arjun Ram Meghwal introduced the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam (women's reservation bill) in the first sitting of Lok Sabha in the new complex.

Union minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday took a jibe at the Congress party over the women's reservation bill saying that the Gandhi family only favours empowering the women of their family and are not interested in empowering the poor women.

Union women and child development minister Smriti Irani (File Photo)
Union women and child development minister Smriti Irani (File Photo)

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"The Gandhi family is only interested in empowering the women in their family. They are not interested in empowering the Dalit or poor women. This is a political gimmick for the opposition because the opposition and the Congress did not give reservation to women even when they were in power," she told news agency ANI.

Taking a dig at Sonia and Rahul Gandhi for remaining absent when the bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha today, the Union minister said, "It is unfortunate that Sonia Gandhi was absent today. Her son also left when the discussion on the bill was underway. It is even more unfortunate that when the Speaker asked who supported the bill, the BJP and NDA supported it but the Congress party did not."

Read here: ‘Constitution no less than Gita, Quran & Bible for us’: Adhir Chowdhury in Lok Sabha

Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi for introducing the much-anticipated bill in the Lok Sabha in the new complex, Irani said, “The bill introduced in the Lok Sabha will define the leadership of women in our country. PM Modi announced the women-led development and the whole world accepted it at the G20. I want to thank him for taking the long struggle of women to its destiny.”

Earlier in the day, Modi made a strong pitch for the women's reservation bill saying that his government is committed to ensuring that the 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam' aimed at expanding women's participation in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies becomes a law, as he urged MPs of both houses of parliament to pass the bill unanimously.

In the first speech in the first session in the new Parliament building, Modi said the women's reservation bill was given approval in the Cabinet meeting on Monday, and asserted that this will strengthen democracy.

Read here: On women's reservation bill, PM Modi's request to Rajya Sabha: ‘I urge members…’

Union law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Tuesday introduced the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam (women's reservation bill) in the first sitting of Lok Sabha in the new Parliament building. The bill aims to reserve one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women, reviving the amendment pending for 27 years for want of consensus among parties.

Meghwal said the number of women members in the 543-member Lok Sabha will rise to 181, from 82 currently, after the law comes into force. Giving the history of the women's reservation bill, the minister said the first time the bill was brought in September 1996 by the Deve Gowda government in the 11th Lok Sabha. Then in December 1998 and December 1999 in the 12th and 13th Lok Sabha, respectively under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

The five-day special session of Parliament was called by the government last month taking the opposition by surprise. The decision was announced by parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi. The special session of Parliament will conclude on Friday.

(With inputs from agencies)

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