NEW DELHI: The government of India Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, urging the main opposition party to come together with the government in passing the bills on women’s reservation, instant triple talaq and nikah halala in Parliament. Prasad, whose ministry deals with the issue of reservation in legislatures and personal laws, appealed to the Congress to provide women with a “new deal”.
As the Monsoon session of Parliament begins tomorrow, Prasad also asked the Congress to join hands with the BJP to get the bill on providing constitutional status to the National Commission on Backward classes, passed.
The law minister was responding to a letter written by Rahul Gandhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, where the Congress president asked the latter to “demonstrate his commitment to the cause of women”, and ensure the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill. In his letter, Gandhi offered his party’s unconditional support to the bill and said the time has come for a change, and for women to take their rightful place in state legislatures and Parliament.
Asking the Prime Minister to “rise above party politics and send India a message that we believe the time for change has come”, Rahul said that women “at present are abysmally represented” in state legislatures and Parliament.
The BJP, however, had responded to Rahul Gandhi’s attack by accusing the Congress of double standards, as it is in alliance with parties that have opposed the Bill.
Asking the Congress whether it had taken letters of support from parties that had opposed the legislation, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday, “It is the Congress which is sitting with those opposed to the Bill. It is the Congress which is in alliance with those who had opposed the Women’s Reservation Bill. So will the Congress now come out of the alliance, or will it get the letters of support from those parties?”
“This shows the double standards of the Congress, as it is in alliance with those who opposed the legislation,” he said. Javadekar was referring to the RJD, which had earlier opposed the women’s quota Bill — the parties are in alliance in Bihar.
Meanwhile, Modi chaired an all-party meeting on Tuesday, where he urged the various parties to cooperate for the smooth functioning of the Monsoon Session and asked the leaders of to raise their issues in the Houses as people expected them to do so.