Pointing to horrific incidents of Hathras and Moradabad, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday stressed that opposition parties and society should work together with the government to check crimes against women.
Speaking during a one-day special session of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly dedicated to women members, Yadav, who is the Leader of Opposition in the House, said problems related to women are so vast that it will need many days to discuss them.
“Today, I can say that women’s issues are so many that one day is not enough for us. Even if we debate throughout the session, they may not end,” he said and thanked Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana for the special initiative.
Referring to crimes against women, Yadav said, “Today, I want to rise above party politics and say that when we read newspapers, see pictures, we know what incidents are happening. The harshest laws have been passed in Parliament but the crime against women is not decreasing.
“If we look at the data of the National Crime Records Bureau, where the population of Uttar Pradesh is more, the responsibility of the House also increases, because whatever is happening with women should not happen.” Referring to dastardly incidents of Hathras and Moradabad, he said, “I have not stood up today to oppose the government. Many such incidents had taken place in our government also but when the government, society and opposition work together then these problems can also be checked.” A 19-year-old Dalit woman was gang-raped and murdered in Hathras in 2020. In Moradabad, police have registered a case of gang-rape after some men allegedly assaulted a woman, who was then seen walking naked on a road. A grainy 15-second CCTV footage of the incident surfaced online on Wednesday.
Emphasising on the need to make the discussion during the session dedicated to women “meaningful”, Yadav said, “I remember, this House also discussed the Sustainable Development Goals during a 24-hour-long sitting. This (women’s session) should not remain a mere discussion. It is also the responsibility of the government more than that of the opposition that concrete steps are taken on the things which come up during the proceedings.” Recalling the contribution of women in the country’s independence struggle, he said Uttar Pradesh had also given the country the first lady chief minister in the form of Sucheta Kriplani.
At present, there are 47 women members in the House. It is expected that in the coming times, all the parties will try to get more and more women to reach this house, Yadav said.
Referring to socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia, the opposition leader said he had said that a woman should not be like a bundle (gathari) but should be so powerful that she can carry the burden with her by making a bundle during the trying times.
Often we take Savitri as a role model for women because she was completely devoted to her husband. Lohia had said that if anyone can be a role model for the women of this country, it is Draupadi, he said.
“If we take women’s power to such a height, then a new identity will be created in our world,” Yadav said.
The SP president also presented various promises of his party’s manifesto during the last Assembly elections in the state as suggestions to the government.
He said the government should adopt a policy of zero tolerance towards hate crimes against every citizen, including women, in the state.
With Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath listening, he stressed on giving 33 per cent reservation to women in all government jobs, including police, and free education for girls from KG to PG.
Women helpline and 1090 service should be strengthened and provision should be made to make complaints through email and WhatsApp also, he said.
A cell headed by the director general of police should be constituted for crime against women and an index should be made to ascertain gender sensitivity, Yadav suggested.