Monday, Jun 16, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Ms. Scindia said in a statement here that what happened with the Bill in Parliament so far was before the nation. ``The people cannot be misguided with statements like that of Ms. Gandhi,'' she said. She charged the Congress Governments which ruled the country for more than 40 years since the Independence responsible for the present status of women.
``The Congress has no right to talk about reservation for women. The atrocities against women in the post-Independence period in the country has been mostly in the Congress ruled States,'' she charged.
Ms. Scindia said the Congress, even during the rule of the late Indira Gandhi, did not consider granting political reservation for women. It was the non-Congress government of H.D. Deve Gowda and then I.K. Gujral which introduced the Bill in Parliament.
The Government led by Atal Behari Vajpayee, on its part, had introduced the Bill through a private member in 1996, which was later referred to a Joint Select Committee of both the Houses. It was on this committee's recommendation that the Bill for the 84th amendment of the Constitution was presented in Parliament, Ms. Scindia pointed out.
The BJP-led coalition Government at the Centre had been ``honestly'' trying for a consensus on the issue by convening all-party meetings. The Bill had been presented in Parliament five times so far, she observed.
``The BJP has been always in favour of providing 33 per cent political reservation to women. The party is committed to passing the Bill in Parliament. That is why it is mentioned in the party manifesto as well,'' Ms. Scindia said. The Congress stand on the Bill inside Parliament was different from the position it took outside, she charged. ``This is similar to the dual stand the Congress had taken on POTA legislation,'' she pointed out.
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