BRS MLC Kavitha calls Women's Reservation Bill 'tokenism'text_fields
Hyderabad: K Kavitha, an MLC for the ruling BRS in Telangana, claimed on Thursday that the Women's Reservation Bill, which was passed by Parliament, was like a post-dated cheque with no indication of when it will be put into effect.
Insisting that women should be given 33 per cent reservation in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies immediately, as per the bill passed in both houses of Parliament, Kavitha accused the NDA government at the Centre of not implementing it despite being able to do so.
"So, it's a very clear sign and signal to the women of this country that passing the Women's Reservation Bill is like giving a post-dated cheque. We have signed the cheque. The amount is written but we do not know when you can cash it. There is no point or purpose to this whole exercise. It just looks like tokenism to me," she said in an interview.
Yet, the passage of the bill is a good gesture that should be celebrated, she said.
On the demand for reservation for OBC women in the women's bill, she said the OBCs should get a 33 per cent share in Parliament and state assemblies to begin with, and once OBC reservation is given, it will automatically reflect for OBC women as well.
Asked if the winnability factor is cited to stop representation for women, she replied in the affirmative and said more efforts are needed to enhance representation for women and other sections of society in the political system.
Kavitha, who is the founder of 'Bharat Jagruti', a cultural organisation, said she is keen on taking up workshops on leadership across the country to prepare women for roles at the helm.
Asked if she would convince her party BRS to ensure adequate representation of women, she, however, replied in the negative.
"I am a very small first-time MP and first-time MLC kind of junior leader. So, nobody can convince the parties. Wasn't Indira Gandhi an important voice in the party? Wasn't Sonia Gandhi the only voice in the party. The issue here is you need to give policy protection to the vulnerable section of the society which starts from women," she said.
It could be upper-class women, OBC women, Dalit or Adivasi women but women need policy protection, she said.
How soon the women's reservation legislation can be implemented and provide representation to OBC women is a larger fight, she said.
On parties like BJP questioning BRS on its friendship with AIMIM which was the sole opposer of women's reservation in Parliament, she said BRS and AIMIM are "friendly parties" and they have never been alliance partners.
The AIMIM is entitled to have its views, she said.
The party's opposition did not stop the women's reservation bill, she added.
Asked if she saw Congress's momentum picking up in Telangana ahead of the Legislative Assembly elections, Kavitha, daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, expressed confidence that the people would support the BRS having seen the rapid pace of development in the state.
She said the BRS would come back to power in the coming elections as Telangana has witnessed transformative changes during the BRS regime.
She alleged that Congress could not ensure basic needs like supply of drinking water and irrigation during its long rule in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
The BRS government worked for the people despite the Centre not supporting it, she claimed.
Referring to the Cauvery water row between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, she asked why Congress cannot make the chief ministers of the two states sit together and solve the issue forever as DMK is its partner in the INDIA alliance.
Asked about the allegations against her in the Delhi excise policy case, she said it is the "modus operandi" of the BJP. "There is nothing special about Kavitha. It is just that Telangana is going to an election, so they have to trouble BRS as a party," she said, speaking about the Enforcement Directorate questioning her in the case.
Not only she but many other leaders of BRS are being "targeted" as well, she claimed.
Asked about her stance on the 'India-Bharat' debate, she said they are non-issues.
The names 'India' and 'Bharat' have been loved and used interchangeably and both the names are equally important, she said.
"Just because the opposition comes together and calls themselves INDIA, the BJP gets scared and they want to call the whole country with a different name. They are taking their insecurities to the next level," she said.
Asked about the stance of BRS on the Uniform Civil Code, she reiterated her party's opposition to it.
With PTI inputs