The Congress must be a “team player” and join forces with regional powers if it wants to defeat the BJP, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha said today.
The legislator, who is the daughter of Telangana Chief Minister and BRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao, told reporters in Delhi that the Congress is no longer a national party and wondered when it will “shed its arrogance and face reality”.
Ms Kavitha is in Delhi to participate in a protest demanding implementation of the Women’s Reservation Bill. During her stay, she would also appear before the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam.
The ED case alleges that Ms Kavitha is part of the “South Cartel” that benefited from kickbacks after Delhi’s now-scrapped liquor policy came into force. The BRS leader has denied the allegations and accused the centre of misusing probe agencies for political goals.
Now that assembly elections in Telangana are due, the centre was continuously sending its agencies to the state, Ms Kavitha alleged today. “Income Tax (department) has conducted 500 raids, 100 raids by CBI and 200 by ED in Telangana because it’s election year.”
She also said that if a woman has to be interrogated by a central agency, then as per law, she has a “fundamental right” to be questioned at her home.
“We released a poster on March 2 about the hunger strike in Delhi over the Women’s Reservation Bill. Eighteen parties confirmed their participation. ED summoned me on March 9. I requested for March 16, but don’t know what haste they’re in, so I agreed for March 11,” she said.
“I requested ED that they can come to my house on March 11 to investigate, but they said I will have to come to them,” the BRS leader added.
On the 18 parties’ protest in Jantar Mantar tomorrow, she said they will press for introduction of the Bill in the current session of Parliament. “Even after 27 years, we are still discussing about the Women Reservation Bill,” she said.
The legislation, which proposes a Constitutional amendment to reserve 1/3 of the seats in Lok Sabha and Assemblies, was first introduced by the HD Deve Gowda government in 1996, but held up due to some objections. In another push during the UPA era, a Bill for women’s reservation in legislature was passed by Rajya Sabha in 2018. The Lok Sabha, however, never voted on it and the Bill eventually lapsed.
“On behalf of all the women of the county, I salute Sonia Gandhi for her initiative to bring the Women Reservation Bill. It was due to her efforts that the Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha,” Ms Kavitha said.