Published By: Pragati Pal
Last Updated: September 18, 2023, 21:10 IST
Pune (Poona) [Poona], India
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday sought 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies on the lines of local bodies and said the move will take “women ahead”.
Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Pune District Cooperative Bank here, he said women are getting opportunities across the world and the countries that had kept them back were not progressing.
“The special session of Parliament began today. We have demanded 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies on the lines of local bodies. Women are not just there to press the (EVM) buttons (for voting) but must get equal opportunities like their male counterparts,” he said.
Pawar leads a faction of the Nationalist Congress Party that is aligned with the Bharatiya Janata Party. He joined the Eknath Shinde government in Maharashtra on July 2.
Mentioning nations like Bangladesh and Pakistan as places that do not give equal opportunities to women, Pawar said, “We have to take women ahead and that is why we are seeking 33 per cent reservations for them”.
On apprehensions among male contestants that their seats could be reserved for women, Pawar said it (fighting from a seat) was not someone’s monopoly and all must understand that “change will take place”.
Incidentally, on the first day of the special session of Parliament, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge urged the Union government to table the Women Reservation Bill.
During a discussion on ‘Parliamentary Journey of 75 years Starting from Samvidhan Sabha – Achievements, Experiences, Memories And Learnings’, Kharge said women lawmakers constituted only 14 per cent in both houses (of Parliament) combined, while their number in legislative assemblies is just 10 per cent.
Speaking on other issues, Deputy CM Pawar said the state government will take a decision on plummeting prices of onions and tomatoes.
He also said cooperative sector stakeholders must think long-term as handing out freebies will empty their coffers, which in turn will affect the economy.
He expressed concern over the lack of rains in the state but said he was hopeful it would rain in September and October.
“But one thing is a fact that the Kharif crops have been damaged due to lack of rains. We had taken a decision to give crop insurance to farmers for Rs 1 and for that the state government is spending several thousand crore rupees. This year, a total of 1.70 crore farmers have taken crop insurance, up from 90 lakh earlier,” he informed.
He said the state government is holding discussions with insurance firms over crop loss due to lack of rains and resultant relief for farmers.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)