BRS leader K Kavitha conducted a hunger strike here on Friday in support of the long-delayed Women’s Reservation Bill during this Parliamentary Budget Session, a day before she was set to testify before the Enforcement Directorate in the Delhi Excise Policy Case.
In Parliament, Kavitha urged all political parties to exert pressure on the government on this matter. She also pointed out that the Modi administration has a resounding majority and is therefore well-positioned to approve the measure before the end of its current term. Also, she asked President Droupadi Murmu to show concern and support women.
The bill seeks to reserve 33 per cent seats in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies for women. The six-hour hunger strike programme at Jantar Mantar was inaugurated by CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury.
Earlier in the day, Kavitha told the gathering, “If India needs to develop at the speed the world is developing, women should play a key role in politics. Women should get more representation in politics for which it is important to bring this bill that has been pending for 27 years.” Many political parties tried to bring this bill since 1996, but it could not be passed in Parliament. Leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Sonia Gandhi and Brinda Karat had led struggles to make it possible, she said.
In her concluding remark, Kavitha said, “All parties talk about it, but no one takes step towards passage of this bill. This government has full majority and if it wishes it can pass this bill in two hours.” The issue does not relate to an individual or a state but the entire country, she said. The country cannot progress if women are not given adequate representation in politics, she said and appealed to all political parties to put pressure on the government to bring this bill in the Budget session of Parliament.
Kavitha had on Thursday said the hunger strike was planned a week before but the Enforcement Directorate summoned her to depose before it on 9 March, just a day before the agitation. The agency agreed to her request to appear on 11 March after the agitation.