Chorus grows in TN for immediate implementation of women’s quota bill
MP Kanimozhi Karunanidhi pointed out that when the UPA government brought up the bill in 2010, there was no condition. The bill was to take effect immediately after its passage.
CHENNAI: DMK deputy general secretary and MP Kanimozhi Karunanidhi on Wednesday urged the BJP-led government to implement the 33% reservation for women from the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. She said the clause ‘after delimitation’ in the bill should be removed as this could lead to an inordinate delay in its implementation.
“How long should we wait to see this bill implemented? It can be easily implemented in the coming parliamentary elections. This bill, you should understand, is not a reservation but an act of removing bias and injustice,” the DMK MP said while participating in the discussion on the bill in Lok Sabha.
Kanimozhi pointed out that when the UPA government brought up the bill in 2010, there was no condition. The bill was to take effect immediately after its passage. But the present bill says the reservation for women would come into force after delimitation exercise.
“This bill was brought, shrouded in secrecy. In the all-party meeting, there was no mention of this bill. There was no discussion or deliberation with the leaders of the political parties. Suddenly, the bill popped up in our computer box like in the Jack in the Box,” Kanimozhi said in a sarcastic way. “This bill is called ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’. Stop saluting us. We don’t want to be saluted, we don’t want to be put on pedestals, we do not want to be worshipped... we want to be respected as equals,” she said and added that the politics of tokenism must evolve into politics of ideas.
Two days after snapping ties with BJP, AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami, extended his party’s support for the Women’s Reservation Bill. In a statement, Palaniswami recalled that former chief minister J Jayalalithaa provided 33% reservation for women and later hiked it to 50% in 2016. In 1991, when she formed her first government, along with her, 31 women MLAs were elected.
VCK MP D Ravikumar told TNIE that when the bill was introduced in 2010, the RJD, Samajwadi party, JDU, DMK, PMK, MDMK, and other parties demanded that SC/STs, OBCs and minorities should be given sub-quota within the 33% since there is an apprehension that these seats could be filled with women from upper castes. They also opposed the clause that the 33% reservation for women be there for 15 years only. “This is insufficient, since for a very long time, and as such, the period should be more, they said.
Another demand was also made for extending this reservation to the Rajya Sabha and the legislative councils in the state. In the current bill these shortcomings have not been addressed,” Ravikumar added.
Ravikumar also questioned the condition that this reservation would be implemented only after the next delimitation.
“So, ultimately, the BJP is trying to hoodwink the women voters saying they have brought reservation for them in the coming Lok Sabha elections,” he added. DMDK general secretary Vijaykant welcomed the bill and urged the union government to start the work for the census so that the reservation could be implemented at the earliest.