New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): Days after Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha ruffled feathers in his party with his “Thakur” poem in the Rajya Sabha during a discussion on the women’s reservation Bill, fellow RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui on Saturday triggered a fresh row with his statement on the same subject.
Addressing an event in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, Siddiqui said, “It would be better if seats (in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures) are set aside for women from extremely backward classes, as otherwise women in bob cut and wearing lipstick would looking for jobs in the name of reservation.”
The remark drew a massive backlash from several leaders, including BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad, who said the language used by the RJD leader was “shocking”.
“The kind of language he used against the sisters and daughters of India is utterly shameful, disgraceful and condemnable. What kind of language is this? What is the intention behind such statements? What have they done to empower OBC women in the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha? Their only intention is to ensure that power is concentrated within the families or the political dynasties that they represent,” the BJP MP said.
Also reacting to the RJD leader’s remark, Congress leader Tariq Anwar said the former’s statement does not reflect the reality on the ground, adding there will be amendments to the law to include women from weaker sections or other backward classes.
“This is his personal opinion. However, it does not reflect the reality on the ground. Amendments will be made to the law to ensure that women from Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) get fair representation in the central and state legislatures,” Anwar said.
BJP MP Sunita Duggal also hit out at Siddiqui over his statement, it onoly goes to show the party’s “narrow mindset”.
“His statement only goes to show their (RJD’s) narrow mindset. Women are standing shoulder to shoulder with men and are breaking new grounds in every field. Such remarks only bare their sick mentality. They want to confine women to household chores and not contribute to nation building,” Duggal told ANI.
Facing a backlash, Siddiqui, speaking to ANI, issued a clarification on his statement saying that he spoke in colloquial terms to make himself understable to rural women.
“Hundreds were rural women were attending the rally that I was addressing. Hence, I used colloquial terms put forth my view on the subject. I certainly did not intend to hurt any sentiments. I appologise to those who may have been offended by my statement. I was speaking at a gathering of women from extremely backward classes and, hence, spoke in a manner that’s easily understood. RJD has been standing in support of the law from the beginning,” he told ANI.
The Parliament, on September 21, passed the historic draft legislation, guaranteeing 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
The Lok Sabha passed the Bill on September 20, during the Special Session of Parliament, with 454 members voting in favour of the legislation and two against it.
The Rajya Sabha passed the Women’s Reservation Bill unanimously, with 214 members voting in support and none against.
President Droupadi Murmu on Friday signed the draft women’s quota Bill into law. (ANI)
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