In the first such poll promise for women, Gandhi said there were not many women in leadership position.
"I don't see them leading enough companies. I don't see them leading enough states. I don't see enough of them in the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabhas," he said while interacting with students of Stella Maris College for Women in Chennai.
"One of the things that we have decided that in 2019 we are going to pass the women's reservation bill in Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabhas and we are also going to reserve 33 per cent of all government jobs at the national level for women," the Congress chief said.
He asserted that women cannot be empowered in India unless the attitude towards them changes.
"I am a believer that women should be pushed into places of leadership. Generally women are smarter than men," he said to a huge applause from the students.
Later, speaking at a press conference in Chennai, Gandhi repeated his party's pitch saying: "We have taken a decision in our manifesto that we are going to pass women's reservation (bill)...We have also taken the decision at the national government level, to reserve 33 per cent of all jobs for women."
Congress' manifesto committee chairman P Chidambaram later tweeted that Rahul Gandhi has announced the party will reserve 33 per cent of all "posts/vacancies for women in Central government, central govt organisations and CPSUs".
Later, responding to a question on the announcement
made by Gandhi, Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said there is provision for both horizontal and vertical reservation.
"The 50 per cent cap is on reservation for SC/ST and OBCs. When we speak about granting rights of reservation to women and girls then it cuts across and it does not deny general category women from competing there. So, I don't think so it reduces the general category jobs at all," he said.
"What the Congress Party envisages is very well within the confine of the constitutional protections granted under Article 15-16. Wherever needed, we will bring special legislations, we will ensure...that India's girls and women have a 33 per cent right as far as reservation goes," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)