Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K. Kavitha during a hunger strike seeking early passage of the Women's Reservation Bill, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, Friday, (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary
HYDERABAD: BRS MLC and Chief Minister K.Chandrashekar Rao's daughter K.Kavitha has raised the political temperature in New Delhi ahead of the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) inquiry in the Delhi liquor scam on Saturday, by rallying support from 18 political parties and various women's organisations for her dharna on Friday demanding the introduction of the Women's Reservation Bill in the current session of Parliament.
Kavitha will lead the protest at Jantar Mantar in the Capital on Friday under the auspices of Bharat Jagruthi, her NGO, to exert pressure on the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre over the tabling of the Women's Reservation Bill.
At a media briefing in Delhi on Thursday, Kavitha said that leaders from 18 political parties will participate in the dharna, which will be inaugurated by CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury. Kavitha visited Yechury's residence and invited him to the rally.
Following the direction of Chandrashekar Rao, two ministers, Sabitha Indra Reddy and Satyavathi Rathod, flew to the Capital on Thursday evening to join Kavitha's protest in the midst of the Cabinet meeting at Pragathi Bhavan.
However, there was uncertainty over the venue of Kavitha's protest with the Delhi police asking her to change it because the BJP planned a rally against the Delhi liquor scam at the same venue in Jantar Mantar on Friday. However, the BJP changed its venue to Ramlila Ground later, paving the way for Kavitha's rally.
"Over 500 people will go on hunger strike, and over 6,000 have confirmed their presence at the rally," Kavitha stated. Interestingly, Kavitha praised former Congress president Sonia Gandhi for having backed the Women’s Reservation Bill during the UPA regime despite leading a coalition government at the Centre.
Responding to questions on the ED summons in the Delhi liquor scam, she stated that she had done nothing wrong and would face the interrogation, but that the BJP-led government at the Centre was using the central investigating agencies to target the BRS because the BJP could not gain a backdoor entry in Telangana.
"We have seen that the BJP has used backdoor entry in nine states, they are unable to do it in Telangana, which is why they are using ED now, but we are not afraid," she emphatically stated.
"Why was the ED in a rush to question me on March 9 and choose a day before my protest? It could have happened the next day as well. When requests were made, well within the law, to the ED to investigate me at my home, they simply refused. If they can do this to a political face, imagine how much a common person, especially a woman, would have to bear with," she remarked.
Kavitha stated that provisions should be created to ensure that women can comply with such investigations at any level, including via video calls and virtually, and that the BRS has resolved to raise and pursue this matter to ensure correct procedures are put in place. "I am a law-abiding citizen, I’ll comply and cooperate with the investigation agency as we understand their obligations towards the Centre. But why is BJP leader B.L. Santhosh evading investigation agencies in the BRS MLAs poaching case," she asked.