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Women’s Reservation Bill Debate : New Parliament, Day 1: M Kharge vs Nirmala Sitharaman On GST, On Women’s Bill; Congress Alleged That States Were Not Receiving Their Fair Share Of Revenue

Women’s Reservation Bill Debate : Kharge alleged that the bill would be manipulated by political parties to select uneducated, voiceless women who are ill-prepared for the task. This assertion triggered strong objections from Ms. Sitharaman

New Delhi, 19 September (City Times):Women’s Reservation Bill Debate : On the first day of the new Parliament session, the proposed women’s reservation bill became the center of a heated exchange between Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Kharge alleged that the bill would be manipulated by political parties to select uneducated, voiceless women who are ill-prepared for the task. This assertion triggered strong objections from Ms. Sitharaman, one of the most vocal BJP parliamentarians, who accused Kharge of making sweeping statements.(Women’s Reservation Bill Debate)

Kharge’s Argument Regarding women from Scheduled Castes with lower literacy rates

Kharge argued that political parties often choose women from Scheduled Castes with lower literacy rates, rather than educated and capable women who can effectively serve. He emphasized that he understands the challenges faced by backward and Scheduled Caste communities in politics.(Women’s Reservation Bill Debate)

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Sitharaman’s Response on Allegations Made by Congress Leader Kharge

In response, Sitharaman defended her party’s choices, stating that all MPs from the BJP, including President Droupadi Murmu, are empowered women. She objected to Kharge’s sweeping generalization about all political parties. Sitharaman acknowledged that Kharge’s comments might apply to the Congress, but she insisted that such differentiation between women was unacceptable.(Women’s Reservation Bill Debate)

Kharge countered by highlighting the limited opportunities for women from backward classes and Scheduled Castes compared to empowered women like Sitharaman.

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Kharge and Sitharaman clashed over the Goods and Services Tax

Earlier in the session, Kharge and Sitharaman clashed over the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Kharge alleged that states were not receiving their fair share of revenue, which weakened federalism. Sitharaman vehemently disagreed, asserting that no state was owed any money. Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar has requested written statements from both leaders by the end of the day.(Women’s Reservation Bill Debate)

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AAP’s Objections to the women’s reservation bill

Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also raised objections to the women’s reservation bill, describing it as an attempt to deceive women ahead of the 2024 elections. Delhi minister Atishi criticized the BJP, accusing the party of not being genuinely concerned about women’s well-being. She referred to the bill as the “Mahila Bewakoof Banao” (Deceive Women) bill.(Women’s Reservation Bill Debate)

The Women’s Reservation Bill

The proposed bill seeks to provide women with 33 percent reservation in both the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. This reservation will be implemented after a delimitation exercise and will remain in effect for 15 years. Reserved seats for women will be rotated after each delimitation exercise.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the bill during his opening speech in the new Parliament. He took a swipe at the Congress, alluding to past attempts to pass the bill, and expressed pride in the historic moment.(Women’s Reservation Bill Debate)

Also Read: Women’s Reservation Bill India : Congress Strong Reiterates Support for Bill Ahead of Possible Parliament Tabling

Historic Shift to a New Parliament Building

In a historic transition, the Indian Parliament relocated to a new building in Delhi’s Central Vista on this day, marking the end of an era. The old British-era building, where the Constituent Assembly framed the Constitution, will now be known as “Samvidhan Sadan” (Constitution House). This move is a significant moment in India’s parliamentary history.

This inaugural day of the new Parliament was marked by intense debates and discussions, emphasizing the importance of women’s representation and financial matters. It sets the tone for the upcoming sessions in the transformed parliamentary landscape.

Also Read: Women’s Reservation Bill India : Congress Strong Support for Bill Ahead of Possible Parliament Tabling

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