Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the UPA will reserve 33 per cent seats for women in government jobs if voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Reiterating his support to the long-standing issue of Women’s Reservation Bill, Gandhi told reporters in Chennai, “Not just in Parliament and state legislatures, Congress will reserve 33 per cent of all posts and vacancies for women in central govt, central govt organisations and CPSUs. We also want to increase the expenditure on education (in the budget) and are discussing with the manifesto committee to make it 6 per cent.”
The Congress announcement comes days after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that his party, the Biju Janata Dal, would allocate 33 per cent of its Lok Sabha tickets to women. Click here for Election news
Earlier this morning, Gandhi addressing women college students in Chennai, spoke about not seeing “enough women in leadership roles.” “…Frankly, I don’t see enough women in leadership positions. I don’t see them leading enough companies, I don’t see them leading enough states, I don’t see enough of them in the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabhas,” he said, adding that the party would pass the bill in the 17th Lok Sabha.
Targetting the ruling party over jobs and demonetisation, Gandhi said, “Everyone believes that Narendra Modi is a flop show when it comes to job creation and employment. After 2019, there will be nobody in India below the minimum income line. This is a revolutionary idea that we are studying.”
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Referring to the ED probe on Robert Vadra, Rahul Gandhi said the law must be applied equally to everybody and not selectively. “What about him (Vadra)? The government has the right to investigate anyone. I will be the first person to say it… Investigate Robert Vadra but also investigate PM Narendra Modi,” he said accusing the PM of running “parallel negotiations” in the Rafale deal. Accusing the BJP of “imposing an ideology on our country”, Gandhi said, “you can not have a fearful atmosphere and expect economic growth, which is directly related to the mood of the country.”
Gandhi, who asked the students to challenge him and “make him uncomfortable”, also questioned whether the prime minister could stand in front of a large audience and answer people’s questions. “How many times have you seen the Prime Minister of India standing in the middle of 3000 women like this? How many times have you seen him standing here like this being open to any question from anybody?” he said.
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