Vice President responds to Chidambaram's remarks on women's reservation lawtext_fields
New Delhi: Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar criticised Congress leader P Chidambaram for his comments on the women's reservation law, stating that it is disgraceful to translate people's lack of knowledge into political equity.
Speaking at an event, Dhankhar expressed his dismay over the remarks made by a senior member of the Rajya Sabha who has held prominent positions and questioned the value of a law that would not be implemented for several years, particularly before the 2029 Lok Sabha elections.
Although he did not explicitly name Chidambaram, he referred to the former Union minister's remarks, which described the women's reservation law as a "teasing illusion, a reflection of the moon in a bowl of water, or a pie in the sky."
Characterising such sentiments as a "distorted mindset," the Vice President drew parallels with whether a tree planted today would yield fruit immediately or whether a student would obtain a degree right after enrolling in an institution. He emphasised that it is unfortunate to exploit people's ignorance for political gain and called on today's youth, who have access to information, to challenge such perspectives.
The bill proposing 33% reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies was passed with overwhelming support in both houses of Parliament during a special session.
President Droupadi Murmu granted assent to the bill, officially naming it the Constitution (106th Amendment) Act. However, its implementation will take time as it depends on the next Census and subsequent delimitation exercises to determine the specific constituencies reserved for women. The law will remain in effect for 15 years, with the possibility of extension by Parliament.
While the law includes quotas for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) women, the opposition had called for extending the benefit to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and immediate implementation.
Several attempts to pass the bill in Parliament have been made since 1996, with the most recent effort in 2010 when it passed in the Rajya Sabha but was not approved in the Lok Sabha.