The women's reservation bill is a 'jumla' (empty promise) as the BJP thinks people vote for it and then forget the party's promises after some time, said Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday.
The bill, which earmarks 33 per cent seats in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies for women, won't be implemented till 2034 and the Bharatiya Janata Party was just trying to mislead people, he added.
Addressing a 'Krishak-sah-Shramik Sammelan' (farmers-cum-labourers convention) of the Chhattisgarh government in Sumabhata village in Balodabazar-Bhatapara district, Kharge said the BJP could not do in 15 years what the Congress had done in five years in power in the state.
Accusing the BJP of trying to replace the Constitution, Kharge said people must support the Congress and Rahul Gandhi to save the Constitution and democracy.
"The women reservation bill was passed recently. It is not a new one as (former prime minister) Rajiv Gandhi ji had brought 73rd and 74th amendment and ensured reservation to women in panchayat bodies," he said.
"When Rajiv Gandhi brought 33 per cent reservation (bill in the parliament), the BJP had then opposed it. In one House, we got a majority (in favour of the bill) but in another House the BJP opposed it and the bill was defeated," he added.
The same BJP was now thumping its chest and taking credit for the bill, the Congress president said.
"When are they going to implement it (women reservation bill)? They themselves say it will not happen in 2024 and that it will be implemented after Census and delimitation in 2029. This means it will be implemented in 2034. They (ruling BJP) just want to mislead people," Kharge claimed.
Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "lying" for votes, Kharge said the former had earlier promised 2 crore jobs per year, Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts, doubling of farmers' income etc.
"When asked, (Union Home Minister Amit Shah) Shah ji says these were all jumlas. If these things can be jumlas, then the women reservation bill is also a jumla. This is because they (BJP) think they can make promises, people will vote and then forget," he claimed.
Urging people to vote out the BJP from the Centre, Kharge said Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were making efforts to support the poor and it was the duty of the people to support them.
"Rahul ji took out Bharat Jodo Yatra and lakhs of people supported him to save democracy and the Constitution. The BJP is trying to destroy the Constitution and replace it with another one. I appeal to Dalits, tribals and backwards to support Rahul ji and the Congress in this fight to save democracy and the Constitution," Kharge said.
Pitching for "caste census", Kharge said Congress wants a census of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) as it will provide detailed information so that welfare schemes can be launched.
Targeting the PM, Kharge said former president Ram Nath Kovind and President Droupadi Murmu were not invited for the foundation stone laying ceremony and the inauguration, respectively, of the new Parliament as "in big works, only Modiji goes".
The BJP has been destroying the poor and encouraging the rich, he alleged, adding that 5 per cent of people have 62 per cent assets of the country, while 50 per cent of citizens have only 3 per cent assets.
He said the BJP must be surprised to see the welfare schemes of the Bhupesh Baghle government in Chhattisgarh for farmers, labourers, women and children.
Taking a jibe at Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda, who are in Raipur during the day to chair party meetings ahead of Assembly polls, Kharge said no one can unseat the Congress from power in the state as it had the support of the people.
At the beginning of his address, Kharge paid tribute to eminent agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan who died on Thursday and remembered his contribution as the father of the 'green revolution' in India. Kharge asked the gathering to observe two minute silence in his honour.
CM Baghel was also present in the event, during which a total of Rs 1,895 crore was disbursed into the bank accounts of 24.52 lakh farmers under the 'Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana' while a sum of Rs 5.16 crore was given to cow dung sellers under the 'Godhan Nyay Yojana'.
Besides, an incentive of Rs 57.18 crore was also disbursed to 33,642 sugarcane growers in the state.
The event also saw the launch of Mukhyamantri Nirman Shramik Pension Sahayata Yojna under which construction workers above 60 years of age and who are registered with the workers' board for 10 years will be given a monthly pension of Rs 1,500 for the rest of their lives.
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