Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that in the next five years, half the chief ministers in Congress-ruled states should be women. Gandhi made the remarks at a women’s Congress meet at Kota in Rajasthan.
“I want to see women progressing in politics,” The Economic Times reported him as saying. “Five-six years down the line, women should occupy 50% of CM posts in Congress-ruled states.” Gandhi said that though his role in the party was more that of a “judge”, he would also be willing to act as the “lawyer” of women in order to promote them in the Congress.
“This is the difference between BJP and Congress,” he said according to PTI. “The BJP and RSS say that women should not be progressive and should not go out of the houses. You will not find a single woman in RSS meetings. They [BJP] have an organisation of women but that organisation does not take decisions and the decision is taken there by the men.” Gandhi added that he wanted women to occupy 40% all posts in states in the next few years, from organisational to governmental positions.
He alleged that while the current chief minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje, was a woman, her thoughts were not for women. Rajasthan will have its Assembly election on December 7.
Gandhi also promised his party would promote women’s participation at the organisational level of zila parishads and then as members of the legislative Assembly and Parliament. Gandhi’s comments come after a horde of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct have taken several industries by storm.
India in 1994 established a 33% quota for women in local government with the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution. However, the Women’s Reservation Bill (108th Amendment), which would reserve 33% of seats in the Lok Sabha for women, has still not been passed by the lower house of Parliament, even when the Congress was in power at the Centre.