Shimla, Nov 5: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Sunday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not moving the stalled Women’s Reservation Bill, accused him of betraying the “nation builders”.
In a series of tweets launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central governmentthe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central government.
He said “Once hailed as ‘nation builders’ by PM Modi, the already marginalised Indian women have been most brutally betrayed by the BJP government”.
“Deference of the Women’s Reservation Bill is BJP has gone back on its primary manifesto promise for women. And it was only the beginning,” he asserted.
On September 21, Congress President Sonia Gandhi urged Modi to urgently pass the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha where the BJP has a majority.
Gandhi in a letter to Modi stated “You may recall that the Rajya Sabha had passed the Women’s Reservation Bill on March 9, 2010. Since then, however, it has languished in the Lok Sabha for one reason or another.”
The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister also referred to the Panchayati Raj Bills passed in Haryana and Rajasthan in 2015, fixing educational and other qualifications for the candidates contesting Panchayati elections.
“Then came along arbitrary conditions on educational qualifications for contesting panchayat elections in Rajasthan and Haryana. Anti-constitutional!”
As per the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (amendment) Bill, 2015, a candidate should be Class 8 pass for the post of Sarpanch — except in tribal reserved areas, where the minimum qualification is Class 5 — and Class 10 for Zila Parishad or Panchayat Samiti elections.
While in Haryana, matriculation is essential qualification for general candidates contesting the Panchayat elections while the qualification for the women (general) and Scheduled Caste candidate will be middle standard (Class 8).
Virbhadran Singh also highlighted Himachal’s women literacy rate, claiming it was higher than the national average.
“Meanwhile in Himachal Pradesh, female literacy of 75.9 per cent exceeded national average. Sixty-four per cent women constituted workforce, highest in India. True empowerment!” the Chief Minister further said.
Himachal will vote on November 9 and the counting will take place on December 18.