NEW DELHI: In an attempt to reach out to 50 percent of the electorate ahead of the 2019 national polls, Congress president Rahul Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, asking him to ensure the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament, which begins on Wednesday.Assuring his support for the bill, which was passed in the Rajya Sabha in 2010 under the previous UPA, but has been pending in the Lok Sabha since then, Rahul said the Prime Minister should use his party’s brute majority in the house to pass the key legislation. Earlier, former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi too had written to the Prime Minister over the issue but nothing moved forward as the BJP faces resistance over the bill from within.
Sources said that Union Minister Arun Jaitley, as the leader of the opposition in 2010, had hailed the passage of the bill in the upper house as historic but appeared to be having second thoughts now.
Rahul used the occasion to remind the Prime Minister that he should tell the skeptics in the BJP that the experience of panchayats and municipal bodies shows that whenever women were given leadership roles, they displayed better decision towards a more just society than their male counterparts.
The Congress also submitted signatures of around 3.2 million people to the Prime Minister in support of the bill. Rahul cautioned the Prime Minister saying if the bill was not passed in the monsoon session it would be impossible to implement it before the 2019 general elections in which the Congress chief wanted to see greater participation of women.