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BJP promises 33 percent reservation for women in parliament

Supporter of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wearing masks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend an election campaign rally addressed by Modi at Moran town in Assam, India, March 30, 2019. REUTERS/Anuwar Hazarika/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Bharatiya Janata Party promised on Monday to reserve 33 percent of seats in the Indian parliament and state assemblies for women if it returns to power in an election due to begin on Thursday.

“Women’s welfare and development will be accorded a high priority at all levels within the government, and the BJP is committed to 33 percent reservation in parliament and state assemblies through a constitutional amendment,” the manifesto said.

The party also pledged to simplify the goods and services tax (GST), which disrupted businesses and hurt economic growth when it was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in 2017.

($1 = 69.4960 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Devjyot Ghoshal and Manoj Kumar in New Delhi; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore