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BJP to fight for rights of J&K women

March 08, 2004 19:10 IST

Seeking to cash in on the controversial Bill passed by the Jammu and Kashmir assembly, which denies women permanent resident status and other rights if they marry outsiders, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday announced a nationwide stir to register its protest.

Describing the legislation as 'retrograde', party spokesman and Law Minister Arun Jaitley regretted that the two principal parties behind the move (Congress and PDP) are 'headed by women'.

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Sonia Gandhi heads the Congress and J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's daughter Mehbooba Sayeed the Peoples Democratic Party.

"This is discriminatory and against gender justice. It is a repeat of the Shah Bano case when a progressive judgment was sought to be upturned by the ruling party by legislation. All laws which encourage any form of gender discrimination should be reconsidered," Jaitley said. He said there is no need to approach the courts on this issue but that all political parties should use this opportunity to debate on whether all laws, including personal laws, must comply with the Indian Constitution and make public their stand.

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