Amid a heated debate in Lok Sabha today on the Women’s Reservation Bill, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey alleged that Congress leader Sonia Gandhi had “tried to grab the collar” of a Samajwadi Party member during chaos in the House during a debate on quota in promotions in 2012.
The BJP MP from Godda opened the debate for the ruling party. This sparked a protest from Opposition MPs, who demanded that a woman MP should lead the BJP’s charge. Home Minister Amit Shah intervened to question why a man cannot raise issues concerning women.
Taking a swipe at INDIA bloc, Mr Dubey said Congress MPs had thrashed their allies in the Well of Lok Sabha when the then UPA government had brought a Women’s Reservation Bill to Lok Sabha in 2011. He then mentioned the 2012 discussion on a legislation to implement reservation in promotions.
“When I talk about the Bill to bring reservation in promotion, all those in these benches will be up on their feet. (Congress minister) V Narayanasamy was presenting the Bill. Samajwadi Party’s Yashvir Singh was a Scheduled Caste MP; these people talk about Scheduled Castes and Tribes. Yashvir Singh had snatched the papers from Mr Narayanasamy,” he said.
“In this Lok Sabha, Sonia Gandhi had then tried to grab his (Yashvir Singh) collar. I had then told her, ‘you are not the dictator here, you are not the queen, you cannot fight here’,” Mr Dubey added. “Mulayam Singh Yadav had then said that his party’s MPs would not have been saved if the BJP did not intervene. You tried to murder MPs. Now you have come together in an alliance,” he said.
The constitutional amendment Bill, tabled in Lok Sabha Tuesday, aims to provide 33% reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
What Happened In 2012?
News reports from 2012 describe Ms Gandhi’s intervention during the chaos in Lok Sabha. She had reportedly held Yashvir Singh and asked “what are you doing” after he snatched the papers from Mr Narayanasamy, who later went on to serve as Puducherry Governor. The news reports say she had tried to take the papers from Mr Singh’s hands, but could not. Late Mulayam Singh Yadav, then Samajwadi Party chief, had condemned the “attack on our MPs”.
BJP Credits Left Leader
“The two women who spoke in favour of the women reservation Bill the most were Bengal’s Geeta Mukherjee and BJP’s Sushma Swaraj. We would not see this date without them. But Sonia ji did not mention them. What kind of politics is this?,” Mr Dubey asked. Ms Mukerjee was CPI’s seven-time MP from Bengal’s Panskura between 1980 and 2000.
Throwback To Sharad Yadav’s “Short Hair” Remark
Mr Dubey referred to a remark by veteran politician late Sharad Yadav on the women reservation Bill that had sparked a huge row. The women reservation Bill was first introduced in Parliament by the HD Devegowda government in 1996. The next year, during a discussion on the legislation, Mr Yadav opposed the move. During his speech, he had remarked that the Bill would empower only “women with short hair” – a euphemism for educated and modern women. The BJP MP’s remarks had sparked a row, forcing him to eventually apologise.