NEW DELHI : Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to urgently pass the Women's Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha where the BJP has a majority. In a letter to Modi, Gandhi said: "You may recall that the Rajya Sabha had passed the Women's Reservation Bill on March 9, 2010. Since then, however, it has languished in the Lok Sabha for one reason or another.
"I am writing to request you to take advantage of your majority in the Lok Sabha to now get the Women's Reservation Bill passed in the Lower House as well."
Gandhi said the Congress party had always and would continue to support this legislation which would be a significant step forward in the empowerment of women.
She also said that it was the Congress which initiated the process of reservation of women in panchayats and nagarpalikas.
"You may recall that it was, in fact, the Congress and its late leader Rajiv Gandhi who first mooted the provision for reservation for women in panchayats and nagarpalikas in the Constitution Amendment Bills which the opposition parties thwarted in the Rajya Sabha in 1989.
"But there were later passed by both the Houses of Parliament in 1993, becoming the 73rd and 74th amendments," she added.