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Sharad Pawar: Congress, allies wholeheartedly supported women’s quota bill: Sharad Pawar; says PM was not briefed correctly

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NCP leader Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said that the Congress and its allies have wholeheartedly supported the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament, and asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not spoken correctly about it.

He also said that the previous Congress governments in Maharashtra and the Center had initiated measures for women empowerment. His statement came a day after PM Modi said in Madhya Pradesh that the Congress and its allies in the new “ghamandia” (arrogant) alliance supported the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament “without hesitation”.

Addressing a press conference here, Pawar said, “PM Narendra Modi spoke about the Congress and ‘ghamandia’ allies supporting the Women’s Reservation Bill with reluctance. But this is not true. We are all fully wholeheartedly supported the bill. The PM was inappropriately worded.”

He said that on June 24, 1994, the Congress government he led in Maharashtra brought out a women’s policy which was the first in the country.

“Similarly, the Congress government at the Center brought in the 73rd constitutional amendment, which paved the way for a 33 percent quota for women in local bodies,” said the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) founder.

“When I was the Defense Minister, 11 percent reservation was given to women in the Army, Navy and Air Force,” he said. To a question during his meeting with industrialist Gautam Adani in Ahmedabad, Pawar said he had come to inaugurate an industrial unit owned by a businessman from Baramati.

Adani was the chief guest at the function held at Sanand industrial estate, he said. On the issue of India-Canada tension, Pawar said that his total support as an Indian citizen is with the policy of the Indian government.


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