Delimitation, Census poor excuses to defer women’s reservation: Congress

The day after the Rajya Sabha unanimously passed The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, which seeks to provide reservation of 33% of seats in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies for women, the Congress hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claiming that delimitation and Census were “poor excuses for postponement” of the legislation.

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The Congress had supported the legislation in the Rajya Sabha, even as it criticised the government for an expected delay in the implementation and demanded an OBC quota within the law.

Taking to X (formerly known as Twitter), Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh said his party had moved two “eminently doable” amendments to the Bill, which were rejected. These amendments, according to him, would have ensured “implementation of the reservation from the 2024 Lok Sabha elections itself” and “reservation for OBC women in addition to the reservation for women belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.”

“The BJP stands exposed on its REAL intentions. Delimitation and Census are poor excuses for postponement. The whole exercise was to create an election issue for a jaded and about-to-be-faded PM without actually implementing it,” he added.

Earlier, after the Bill had been passed Thursday night, Congress MP Jothimani had told reporters, “We are happy that the bill has been passed but it is not going to be implemented anytime soon, that is pretty sad. The bill has nothing to do with delimitation or Census. If the government has the political will, they can still implement it, they have time.”