Yet another dream being sold by PM Modi for 2024 LS polls: Sibal on women's reservation bill
Former law minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday alleged that the women's reservation bill was ''yet another dream'' being sold by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and claimed that its benefits would accrue to women only in 2029.
Meeting a long-pending demand, the government on Tuesday introduced a bill to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. However, its implementation may still take some time and is unlikely to be in force for the next Lok Sabha elections in 2024 as the reservation will come into effect only after a delimitation exercise is completed.
Rajya Sabha MP Sibal said the bill has been introduced with a political motive and it was ''baffling'' for him to understand as to why this bill was introduced today, almost nine years and four months after the BJP government came to power in 2014.
''This has been the demand of most political parties for many years, even before 2014, that this bill be introduced in Parliament and passed. So, if Modi ji was genuinely interested in women's empowerment, he would have introduced the bill in 2014. Nothing stood in the way of it being passed,'' Sibal, who was the law minister from May 2013-May 2014, told PTI.
Almost all political parties in Parliament have been demanding that the bill be introduced and passed, he pointed out.
''When it was introduced by the Congress in 2010, the party did not have an absolute majority and therefore, it could not be passed,'' he said.
''We would then have not had to wait till 2029 for women to be empowered. Obviously it was passed with a political motive for taking credit just before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections though the benefit of it to women will accrue only in 2029. Even that is contingent upon two considerations -- the census takes place and the delimitation of constituencies happens in 2026 which will change the nature of Parliament and political power in India,'' Sibal said.
''If those conditions are not satisfied, I wonder what the fate of the bill will be. Therefore, the passing of the bill is yet another dream being sold by Modi ji for the 2024 elections, just as he did the other day by setting aside Rs 13,000 crore for the Vishwakarma scheme for artisans,'' the former Congress leader said.
Earlier this morning, before the bill was introduced by the government, Sibal had attacked the government, asking why did Prime Minister Modi wait for almost 10 years for it.
In a post on X, Sibal had said, ''Women's Reservation Bill: Wonder why Modi ji, if introduced, waited for almost 10 years when almost all political parties are in support? 2024 is perhaps the reason.'' ''But if the government does not provide quota for OBC women, BJP may also lose UP in 2024! Think about it!'' he said.
Sibal, who was a Union minister during the UPA 1 and 2 regimes, quit the Congress in May last year and was elected to the Rajya Sabha as an independent member with the Samajwadi Party's support.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)