The CPI(M) today demanded that the BJP government pass the long-pending Women Reservation Bill immediately and urged “all democratic movements” to raise their voice in support of the proposed legislation. The party also pledged to organise agitations all over the country to ensure that the Bill, which seeks to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures, becomes an Act. At the CPI(M)’s party congress here, a resolution was passed which stated, “The 22nd Congress of the CPI(M) demands that the BJP government passes this legislation immediately and urge all democratic movements to raise their voice in support of the Women’s Reservation Bill. The Party pledges to organise agitations all over the country to ensure that the bill is passed.”
The resolution, which was moved by politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra, alleged that “patriarchal mindset” and “electoral opportunism” of people across a sizeable political spectrum obstructed the Bill from becoming an Act. It said that in 2010, when the Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha, the BJP had said that it was happy for being “a part of history”, but now, when the party has an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha and do not need the support of any other party to pass the Bill, they are not taking up the task. The Left party also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for maintaining silence on the matter, and claimed that the BJP governments in Haryana and Rajasthan introduced laws with certain provisions that would take away the rights of women, Dalits, and other oppressed sections to contest in local body elections.