As ED probes her, Kavitha whips up women’s reservation frenzy

A day ahead of ED questioning, Telangana CM’s daughter Kavitha targets government on Women’s Reservation Bill; Brings 13 political parties together

| Updated: 15 March, 2023 9:02 pm IST
13 opposition parties, along with various civil society organisations, joined the round table on Women's Reservation Bill

A day before she was to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Delhi Excise Policy Case, Kalvakuntla Kavitha brought 13 political parties as well as several civil society organisations for a roundtable discussion over the Women’s Reservation Bill.

Kavitha, who is the daughter of Telangana’s Chief minister and Bharath Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Chandrasekhar Rao, also accused the central government of not taking any initiative for the passage of the Bill.

Kavitha, however, refrained from making any comments on the case and the financial probe agency’s second summons to her for questioning on March 16.

Interestingly, ahead of her questioning by the ED, the BRS leader is bringing 13 political parties and several civil society organisations together. They purportedly came together to join a round table discussion for the Women’s Reservation Bill, organised by Kavitha-led Bharat Jagruthi.

The event was attended by MPs from the BRS Party, JMM, DMK, RJD, Samajwadi Party, CPI, Shiv Sena, AAP, RLD, RSP (Kerala), CPM, VCK Party, Azad Samaj Party, farmer union leaders, women’s organisations and students.

One of the key opposition parties, Congress, was conspicuous by its absence. Addressing the absence of any representative from the Grand Old Party, Kavitha pointed out the party’s declining influence.

“It (Congress) is not a major party anymore. If we look at the condition of Congress across the country, then it is nothing but a bigger regional party. If they are attending, then good, but if not, then that is it,” Kavitha, who is a Member of the Legislative Council in Telangana, said.

“Time and again, we have said that it was Sonia Gandhi who got the Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha and we thank her. But now it is time for Congress to join our fight or fight independently, but they should take it up,” she added.

Talking about the Women’s Reservation Bill, Kavitha said, “For the overall development and growth of the country and society, women should be given a bigger role in decision-making.”

She said, “The message is clear from this platform that political parties, particularly from the opposition, are in support of the Women’s Reservation Bill, and it is the government that is not taking any initiative.”

She said that the opposition parties will take up the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament not only in this session but also in the next session. “Because these are the only two chances that we have now left. The government is in the full majority and they have every chance to pass the Bill,” Kavitha said.

“We have done a protest and now we have done a roundtable conference. We will explore every possible way to bring up this issue time and again. We will be relentless,” she said.

On March 10, Kavitha sat on a day-long hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. She demanded the introduction of the bill in the current Budget session of Parliament.

Kavitha was questioned by the ED on March 11 for the first time in connection with the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy case. Police have arrested 12 persons, including Delhi Deputy Chief minister Manish Sisodia, in the case.

Meanwhile, several opposition leaders voiced their opinion on the Women’s Reservation Bill. Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray) faction’s Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said, “When the makers of the Indian Constitution could ensure that Women were given an equal right to vote, then why can the government in power not table the Women’s Reservation Bill to ensure greater participation of women in legislative affairs?”

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chaddha also extended his support to Kavitha’s initiative. He said, “The government has a clear majority It must be put to use to ensure reforms and bills for the greater good are taken care of by the government.”

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