Women's Bill: Smriti Irani slams opposition over demand for 'immediate' implementation of quota
Irani read out provisions of the Constitution regarding census and delimitation to drive home the point that it was necessary to include in the bill.
NEW DELHI: Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday slammed the opposition over its demand for an immediate implementation of quota under women's reservation bill, asking it whether it wished to follow the constitutional process.
Intervening in the discussion on the constitutional amendment bill to provide reservation for women, the Women and Child Development Minister hit out at the opposition, such as the Samajwadi Party, for demanding reservation for minorities, saying they do not know that reservation based on religion is "prohibited" by the constitution.
Irani also said it was for the first time acknowledged in the house that it was not one particular family that got the bill for reservation for women in local bodies, but the government of PV Narasimha Rao, whose mortal remains were not allowed to enter the Congress office here.
Responding to the opposition's demand that the reservation be implemented with immediate effect, Irani read out provisions of the Constitution regarding census and delimitation to drive home the point that it was necessary to include in the bill.
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"Is it the wish of opposition leaders that the constitutional process is not followed? Should we not abide by the Constitution? Is that the position taken by the opposition parties?" she said.
"We would be grateful if the opposition does not become a roadblock in the way of empowerment of women," Irani said.
Irani cited the women's reservation bill brought by the UPA government and passed in 2010 by the Rajya Sabha, claiming the Congress' proposal then was to take back the reservation granted to women in 15 years.
She listed a slew of measures undertaken by Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of the country and earlier as Chief Minister of Gujarat to highlight the efforts made by him for women's empowerment.
The Gender budget which was earlier about Rs 90,000 crore has gone up to 2,23,000 crore, Irani said.
She said that the bill has been prepared bearing in mind constitutional provisions.
"We have made the women count. It is time for you in the opposition to step up," she said, asking it to walk the talk and support 'nari shakti'.
The constitutional amendment bill was introduced in the Lower House on Tuesday. It was the first bill introduced in the new Parliament building. The bill provides for 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. The reservation will come into effect only after the completion of the census and delimitation exercise.