Opposition trapped in Modi's #womenreservation gambit, Rahul's demand - government should implement it from 2024
Ritesh Sinha (senior journalist and political analyst)
Congress, including the entire opposition, is trapped in Prime Minister Modi's gamble on the Women's Reservation Bill. While saving the government from the opposition, the Modi government had said that as a precautionary measure, the Women's Reservation Bill will be implemented in 2029. The Congress, including the opposition, has strategically defeated the BJP by demanding the Modi government to hold elections with women's reservation from the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Under the leadership of Modi, the BJP, in its political efforts to form the government for the third time, had introduced the Women's Reservation Bill on the pretext of a special session of Parliament, which was passed in both Houses without any opposition by the entire opposition including Congress. The opposition, which opposed every move of the government, got trapped in this move. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi revealed during the debate on the Women's Reservation Bill that it was only after my press conference that PM Modi called a session and brought the Women's Reservation Bill. Why reservation was not given to OBC women? Made an excuse for new vote counting and delimitation.
Rahul says that the BJP government wants women's reservation to be implemented in ten years, we want it to be implemented from today. The Congress and the opposition, which have made waves across the country in the name of India Alliance, with their demand for elections with women's reservations in this election, have provided an opportunity to the BJP to cut the tickets of those MPs who are not popular among the general public, including the BJP workers, in their constituencies. There was huge opposition. BJP had gained the lead in the women's vote bank in the 2019 elections by making triple talaq an issue. BJP, which is preparing to field its candidates on 181 seats in the 2024 elections, has made arrangements to have an increased lead over the opposition. Congress has been giving lollipops regarding the Women's Reservation Bill for the last 25 years. In the Panchayat and local body elections, Congress had given 33 percent of seats to a large number of women to contest and they are also doing a good job.
Till now, Congress has been adopting an evasive attitude in giving the benefit of reservation to women in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and state assemblies. Now to wave the saffron flag of BJP for the third time, how much effect the Modi formula will show in giving a blow to the opposition including Congress united in the name of India, will be decided in the coming elections. After the demand of the entire opposition, it is now considered certain that elections will be held on this formula in 2024.
BJP strategists have started looking for those parliamentary constituencies where BJP candidates were losing compared to the India Alliance. By ensuring the participation of women in such parliamentary constituencies, the BJP has started giving a blow to the India alliance. Congress kept reiterating this resolution by spending crores of rupees in its conferences, its manifestos and thinking camps, but it never allowed it to become a ground reality. At the same time, BJP strategists, after uniting in the third meeting of the India Alliance in Mumbai, called a special session of the Parliament and introduced the Women's Reservation Bill and, bypassing the opposition, got it passed with majority in both the Houses.
Congress, which has lagged behind in the strategy, and the defeated India alliance is trying to take credit for it and is strongly demanding its implementation in 2024. Here BJP's election strategy in 2024 has got strength. Women do get some opportunities in Congress, but in other opposition parties surrounded by nepotism, women's representation is completed by giving tickets in the name of women to a few leaders, daughters, brides, and granddaughters.
The Congress, which also has an organization named Mahila Congress, is trying to steal the credit for the Women's Reservation Bill but has failed to give 33 percent representation to women in the Central and State Congress Committees. This is when the presidential command of Congress remained in the hands of a woman for a long time. Congress had made big announcements in its Jaipur Chintan Shivir and Raipur national convention. When AICC was reconstituted after 8 months of this entire exercise, only Khanapuri could be mentioned in the name of women.
Among the 39 working committee members of AICC, 6 are women, including Sonia and Priyanka from the Gandhi family. Among the 18 permanent invitees, 3 are women, zero among in-charges, 4 among special invitees, and 1 among ex-officio members as Women Congress President. Overall, 14 women have been included in the team of 84 members, about 19 percent of the seats, given in the name of half the population. Congress, which has been demanding 33 percent reservation for women, is clapping. There is a lot of curiosity among the women candidates in the NDA and India alliance regarding women's reservations. The hopes of women leaders are pinned on how well these two alliances stand the test of the Women's Reservation Bill in the upcoming assembly elections in five states. Those alliances that do not show commitment on the Women's Reservation Bill after it is passed, it is bound to have an impact on their vote bank.
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