Addressing an event organised by the BJP's 'Mahila Morcha' to felicitate him for the passage of the bill, he said it is no ordinary legislation but is the declaration of the new democratic commitment of a new India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pic/PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Friday that a decisive and stable government enjoying a strong majority at the Centre made the passage of the women's reservation bill in Parliament possible after it was left hanging for close to three decades.
Addressing an event organised by the BJP's 'Mahila Morcha' to felicitate him for the passage of the bill, he said it is no ordinary legislation but is the declaration of the new democratic commitment of a new India.
In a jibe at regional parties such as Bihar's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Uttar Pradesh's Samajwadi Party, he said even those who had torn the previous bills seeking reserved seats for women in legislatures had to support the proposed law this time due to the emergence of women power in the last one decade of his government.
Before making a move on the bill, his government worked to empower women with a slew of schemes and other measures and strengthened them, Modi said, noting that every party had to support it.
"We took decisions for the betterment of women at all levels and didn't let anyone's political interest become a roadblock in the way of women's reservation. Earlier, whenever such a bill came in Parliament, only formalities were done and committed efforts were not made. Attempts to insult women were also made," the prime minister said.
Attacking those, including some opposition MPs in Parliament, who questioned the use of 'Nari Shakti Vandan' terminology by the government for the bill, he asked should not women of the country be paid obeisance and their honour enhanced.
The BJP is set to make the passage of the bill a major talking point of its poll campaign for the five state elections expected in November-December and the Lok Sabha elections likely in April-May next year; more so as those women voters who are persuaded by the welfare factor rather than social faultlines are seen to have emerged as an important voting bloc in recent years.
The prime minister said it was the BJP's good fortune that its government got the opportunity to pass the bill. The party's commitment made for the last three decades has now been fulfilled, he said.
Some decisions have the power to change a country's fate, Modi said, describing the proposed law as one such measure that will infuse new confidence among women and multiply India's strength to advance.
A new history was made on September 20 and 21, Modi said, referring to the days the bill was passed by the Lok Sabha and then by the Rajya Sabha. "It was our good fortune that people gave this government the chance to do so," he said, adding future generations will discuss this.
It was made possible because people elected a strong, stable and decisive government that has a full majority, the prime minister asserted. It was passed with record support and a long-held dream was finally fulfilled, he said.
This shows how the country takes big decisions where there is a decisive government enjoying a strong majority, Modi said. The self-confidence of women is touching the sky and their entry into decision-making will multiply the country's strength to power ahead, he added.
This is proof of fulfilling "Modi's guarantee" that he will usher in a new era of women-led development, the prime minister said amid loud cheers from the women present at the BJP headquarters.
Citing a number of his government's schemes and decisions for women's welfare, Modi said it has made every attempt to unshackle women with programmes for their security, respect and prosperity.
"From family to panchayat, from the economy to education and entrepreneurship, our sisters and daughters are doing unprecedented work in every field today. Women have played a significant role in taking India to the moon. Be it in startups, self-help groups or social campaigns, the role and participation of women are becoming the strength of the country," he said.
BJP president J P Nadda said governments earlier practised appeasement politics but it was Modi who has worked to empower women with decisions like the ban on triple talaq men and the passage of women's reservation bill.
The passage of 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam' is a historic moment which became possible only because of Modi's foresight, unbreakable determination and firm resolve, he said.
A large number of women MPs of the party, including Union ministers like Nirmala Sitharaman and Smriti Irani, were present during the event.
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