Bihar CM Nitish Kumar lauds women`s quota bill

  • | Wednesday | 20th September, 2023

PATNA: Chief minister Nitish Kumars JD(U) and Lalu Prasad-led RJD are not on the same page on the issue of supporting the Womens Reservation Bill tabled by the Narendra Modi government in Parliament on Tuesday.While Nitish, in a statement issued on Tuesday evening, wholeheartedly supported the Narendra Modi governments move saying, "It is a laudable step", RJD national vice-president and former CM Rabri Devi alleged that the bill was a "gimmick, aimed just at making some noise" since its implementation was proposed only after a fresh round of delimitation on the basis of the outcome of a new decadal census. However, both the parties reiterated their demand of "quota within quota" for the women from other backward classes (OBC) and extremely backward classes (EBC). The JD(U) has 16 Lok Sabha members while RJD has no presence in the Lower House. The RJD insiders said their top bosses do not want to divulge the party floor strategy in the Rajya Sabha before a debate on the bill in the Lok Sabha. JD(U) chief spokesperson K C Tyagi said his party would support the bill in its present form on the floor of the Lok Sabha, but it would continue raising its demand of "quota within quota" for women from the OBC and EBC categories. The RJD has a similar demand but its leadership is yet to make any statement whether they would support the bill in the House or not."The concept of quota within quota for the OBC women was championed by our leader Nitish Kumar. We will continue to fight for that, but will support the bill in the Lok Sabha," Tyagi told TOI over phone. Tyagi also pointed out that in the original bill, there was a provision of womens reservation in the Rajya Sabha and the state legislative councils. But in the current bill, there is no such provision. "JD(U) will oppose this change," he said. Meanwhile, Nitish also rued the Centres failure to conduct the Census, which should have been held by 2021.

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