BJP Celebrates Historic Passage of Women’s Reservation Bill, 2023
With the passage of the historic Women’s Reservation Bill in 2023, a significant shift in Indian politics is on the horizon. This bill, which had remained uncertain for the past 27 years, has now become a reason for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to celebrate. The BJP Mahila Morcha has organized a grand celebration at 9 am on Friday at its Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg office in New Delhi. The event will witness the presence of women MPs, ministers, and leaders, all coming together to express their gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
With women constituting 48% of India’s voters, this voting bloc is crucial for every political party, including the JDU, BRS, and Congress. The timing of the bill’s passage is strategic for the BJP, with crucial state elections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan scheduled for this year, followed by the general elections in 2024.
Vanathi Srinivasan Leads the Celebrations
Heading the preparations for the grand celebration is BJP’s Mahila Morcha president, Vanathi Srinivasan. She has been a strong advocate for the Women’s Reservation Bill for a significant period. On Thursday evening, her happiness was evident as she expressed her thoughts on this historic achievement. She countered Sonia Gandhi’s criticisms, asserting that the Congress cannot digest the fact that Prime Minister Modi brought and successfully passed the bill.
Amid last-minute preparations at the BJP headquarters, Vanathi Srinivasan took some time to speak to Smartkhabrinews about the plans for Friday, the significance of the bill for women in politics, the controversy surrounding OBC categorization, and its implementation.
Q: What Is Mahila Morcha Planning for Tomorrow?
A: We, from the Mahila Morcha, are organizing a grand welcome for Prime Minister Modi at the party headquarters. Office bearers and women cadres have requested him to attend. The event is scheduled for 9 am. All women MPs, including ministers, are being invited. However, it is still unclear whether he will be giving a speech or not.
Q: What Does the Passing of the Women’s Reservation Bill Mean to You?
A: As far as Indian politics is concerned, it is still a male-dominated arena. Women find it very difficult to make their mark here. In the last many years, women have been promised the Women’s Reservation Bill by different political parties, but nothing happened. Prime Minister Modi was determined to see it through. He has taken a bold step. In the past, we have seen party leaders speaking in favor of the bill but instigating their party members against it. Now, the whole scenario has changed.
Q: Do You Think PM Modi’s Image Made That Possible?
A: Look, it needed political will, and the Prime Minister has that. All along, he was instrumental in bringing a lot of women candidates into the electoral process, which I personally witnessed. Let me tell you something. We could get a sense of how much he was keen to bring the bill when he used to address party meetings. It is not just key positions in the ministry, but the number of women benefiting from the central government’s schemes is also significant.
Q: Sonia Gandhi on Thursday Made a Strong Case for OBC Categorization within the 33%. How Do You Respond?
A: The Congress party and its MPs can’t digest the fact that the Women’s Reservation Bill was brought by Prime Minister Modi, and that too, in the new Parliament House on the very first day. On one hand, they want to claim that it’s their bill. If that is the case, they should be happy about it. However, they ended up criticizing it by talking about the OBC reservation. But when they were in power, they never supported it. Today, Nadda ji (JP Nadda) has addressed how the BJP has given the country an OBC Prime Minister in the form of Modi. For the first time, we have such a large number of OBC MPs and ministers. It’s under this tenure that the National Commission of OBC has been given constitutional status. Unlike other political leaders, PM Modi doesn’t flaunt his OBC background.
Q: The Bill Can’t Be Implemented Immediately. Should Each Political Party Ensure 33% of Women Candidates Voluntarily for the 2024 Lok Sabha Election?
A: BJP has given 33% reservation to women in party positions for many years. Apart from that, 15% of the seats are reserved for women candidates. No other party is doing that. We have always been keen on bringing more women into electoral politics.
Q: Do You Think Other Parties Will Do That Voluntarily?
A: Sometimes women from the families of opposition party leaders are given tickets. But women empowerment is taking shape in this country. Women have their own political aspirations that are visible.
Q: What Will Be Your Message to the Only Two MPs Who Voted Against the Women’s Reservation Bill?
A: That was really unfortunate. Had it been unanimous, it would have been great.
Q: Their Argument for Objection Is That It Will Help Only ‘Savarna’ Women. Do You Buy That Argument?
A: I have a simple question for them — All these years, they have been silent about reservations in the main category. So, why make a fuss only when the Women’s Reservation Bill is coming?
In conclusion, the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill, 2023, is a milestone moment in Indian politics. The BJP’s celebration reflects the significance of this historic event, and the political landscape is poised for transformation with increased female representation. The controversies surrounding OBC categorization add another layer of discussion, but the bill’s impact on women’s participation in politics is undeniable.