Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday alleged that opposition parties "stalled" the women's reservation bill for three decades, and now they were trying to divide women on the lines of caste and religion when the bill had been passed.
Opposition leaders indulged in "match-fixing" in the past to ensure that the bill did not get Parliament's approval, he said, adding that women should be "wary" of them.
He was speaking at a program, organised by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party here to thank him for the passage of the bill in both houses of Parliament and attended by thousands of women.
"Do not be under the impression that they (opposition) have changed their attitude. They have now supported the bill because they were afraid of you. They did everything possible to stall the women's reservation bill for three decades. Just check their past track record. They made all types of excuses, tore apart the bill and did all sorts of drama in the past," said Modi.
"These people did match-fixing with each other to stall the bill in the past. They would pass it in the Lok Sabha, but stall it in the Rajya Sabha. This was their business. Now, when Modi has managed to do it, they are conspiring to create a divide among women. This is not INDIA (referring to the Opposition's alliance), these are `Ghamandia' (arrogant)," he said.
Women should stand firm against this "conspiracy" and tell the opposition not to create divisions among women, Modi added.
"They were not willing to pass this bill. That is why they raised various questions using expressions such as `kintu, parantu' (but, however). They are now trying to divide women in the name of caste and religion. Since they (opposition parties) have reluctantly extended their support to this bill, I urge the women to be wary of them," the prime minister further said.
Notably, the Congress, while voting for the bill, demanded a quota for OBC women in the overall 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. The AIMIM demanded a quota for Muslim women while opposing the bill.
Modi also claimed that opposition parties mocked him in the past when he introduced pro-women schemes such as the Ujjwala Yojna, toilets at home scheme and bank accounts for women.
He also spoke about how women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) are turning rural women into "Lakhpati Didis". He gave the example of a woman who managed to buy a tractor on loan for her husband with her income from an SHG.
"After meeting that Lakhpati Didi, I have made a resolve to create two crore Lakhpati Didis across the country," the prime minister said.
"We will now teach women from Self-Help Groups to operate drones. We will give drones to these groups. These drones will be used for spraying fertilizer and pesticides on fields. Women will now become drone technicians and work in the rural areas using this modern agriculture method. These women will give a boost to the rural economy," he said.
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