It's not Women's Reservation Bill but a bill to befool women: AAP leader Atishi

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 19-09-2023 22:27 IST | Created: 19-09-2023 22:27 IST
It's not Women's Reservation Bill but a bill to befool women: AAP leader Atishi
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Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi on Tuesday alleged that the women's reservation bill is a bill to befool women ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The government on Tuesday introduced a constitutional amendment bill to reserve one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women, reviving the concept of women's reservation pending for 27 years for want of consensus among parties.

Addressing a press conference, Atishi alleged that the BJP is not interested in the wellbeing and welfare of women, and is bringing this bill just before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections to ''befool'' women of the country.

The AAP leader said that according to the provisions of the bill, the reservation will only be implemented after the next census and a delimitation exercise. This means that women will not get reservations in the 2024 elections, she said.

''Why can't Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi provide reservations to women in the 2024 elections without waiting for the census and delimitation. If he truly cares about women, why doesn't he implement the bill on the existing 543 seats in the Lok Sabha?'' asked Atishi, who is a minister in the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi.

Making it the first bill to be introduced in the new Parliament building, the government said it will enable greater participation of women in policy-making at the state and national levels and help achieve the goal of making India a developed country by 2047. The bill is named Narishakti Vandan Adhiniyam.

Atishi alleged that the prime minister and the BJP are not ''genuinely concerned'' about the welfare of women. ''The BJP is a party of people like Brij Bhushan (Sharan Singh) and is anti-women,'' she said.

BJP MP and former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Singh is accused in a case of alleged sexual harassment of women wrestlers.

Atishi said the AAP, in-principle, welcomes this bill and supports the reservation of women in Parliament and state assemblies. However, she said, ''Upon studying the 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill that was posted in the public domain by the central government, we realised that it was nothing but a political move before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. It is, in essence, a 'Mahila Bewakoof Banao' Bill.'' The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, was introduced in the Lower House. She cited Section 5 of the bill, which will introduce Article 334 A in the Constitution, that states: ''Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this part or Part 8, the provisions of the Constitution relating to the reservation of seats for women in the houses or legislative assemblies of the states and GNCTD shall come into effect after an exercise of delimitation is undertaken for this purpose after the relevant figures for the first census taken after the Constitutional Amendment Act, 2023 have been published.'' This means that women will not be given reservations in the 2024 elections, Atishi said. ''Once this bill is passed in Parliament, delimitation will be conducted based on the first census conducted after the amendment. Women will be granted reservations in the Houses (of Parliament) and state legislative assemblies based on that delimitation,'' she noted. Based on a simple calculation, a census takes one year, and delimitation will take another one to two years, Atishi claimed.

''This implies that the government will not be able to implement this highly publicised women's reservation bill before 2028 at any cost. It will not happen in 2024 for sure. When we examine the provisions of this bill, it becomes clear that it is an attempt to deceive the women of the country and befool them ahead of the 2024 elections,'' she added.

She said that the AAP demands that an amendment must be made to this women reservation bill, and the government should not wait for the census and delimitation to provide reservations. ''Reservations for women must be implemented starting from the 2024 Lok Sabha elections,'' Atishi said. Earlier in the day, Atishi had told PTI Video that if such a bill comes, the AAP will welcome it, but underlined that the party would have to study its specifics. ''The AAP supports women's reservation in-principle. If such a bill comes, we will welcome it. No Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha member of the party has got a copy of the bill, and so its specifics and what impact it will have need to be studied,'' the AAP leader had then said. Atishi, who holds the portfolio of women and child development, had said there is already reservation at the panchayat and municipality levels ''but there has been no change in the lives of common women because of this''. ''Our request to the government will be to move beyond providing reservation just to elected representatives. We want that there should be 50 per cent reservation in all government jobs for women,'' she had told PTI Video. The AAP leader had said that it is not sufficient just to ''provide reservation in Parliament, Vidhan Sabha, municipality and panchayat''. AAP's Rajya Sabha member Raghav Chadha demanded immediate implementation of reservation for women. Targeting the central government, he posted on X, ''We will bring women reservation but won't reveal the date. As per Clause 5 of the #WomenReservationBill, the reservation will kick in only AFTER a delimitation exercise and a fresh census - post the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Eighth Amendment) Act, 2023.'' ''Does this imply: 1 No women reservation for the 2024 Elections 2 The nation and the women will have to wait for fresh Census and delimitation for women reservation 3 The BILL has been framed without the WILL to execute it We demand immediate implementation of #WomenReservation without further delay,'' he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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