Named Nari Shakti Vandana Adhiniyam, the bill says the reservation for women will come into effect after the delimitation exercise is done post the latest Census and will cease to be effective 15 years after the commencement of the reservation
he Women’s Reservation Bill introduced by the Narendra Modi government has proposed reserving one-third or 33% seats for women “as nearly as may be” in the Lok Sabha, state assemblies and the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Named Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, the bill says the reservation for women will come into effect after the delimitation exercise is done post the latest Census, indicative that the changes could get rolled out after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Census for 2021 is still to be completed and it takes time before the census is published. The delimitation exercise can only be done post 2026. This indicated that the bill could become a reality on the ground only before the 2029 Lok Sabha elections. It adds that the provisions will cease to be effective 15 years after the commencement of the reservation.
Importantly, it says 1/3rd of SC/ST reserved seats in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies will also be reserved for women.
PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday said this is the first bill being brought to the new Parliament building and described it as a “historic change”. He urged all MPs to pass the bill and said “women-led development” is his government’s resolve and hence the constitutional amendment is being brought.
‘The bill is similar to the one brought by the UPA governmenZt in 2010, except the inclusion of the clause of its implementation after the delimitation exercise.’The bill is similar to the one brought by the UPA government in 2010, except the inclusion of the clause of its implementation after the delimitation exercise.
The text of the bill, seen by News18, says the step is being taken to enable greater participation of women as public representatives in policy making at state and national levels and hence a fresh legislation has been brought as a constitutional amendment.
It says that while women participate in Panchayati Raj institutions and municipal bodies, their representation in state legislatures and Parliament is limited. It adds that providing for higher representation of women at state and national levels has been a long-pending demand.
It mentions how the last attempt to introduce women’s reservation was done in 2010 when Rajya Sabha passed the bill, but the same could not be passed in the Lok Sabha.
The bill further says that the true empowerment of women will require greater participation of women in the decision-making process, bringing different perspectives and enriching the quality of legislative debates and decision-making.
The PM recalled how former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee tried to bring the bill many times, but could not succeed due to lack of numbers. BJP sources said the Vajpayee government brought the bill at least six times to Parliament, but each time it was the Congress and its allies that scuttled the legislation.
The Vajpayee government did not have the majority required to pass it and was dependent on the Opposition for consensus.
The Congress, which had requisite majority in 2010, could pass the bill through the Rajya Sabha only because of the support of the BJP. “But again it proved to be lip service of Congress. In Lok Sabha, the Congress orchestrated the staged drama of its allies, who, while happily being its allies, did not allow the bill to be passed. Sonia Gandhi even admitted that her own party opposed it,” a BJP insider said.
“Today, while it is attempting to steal credit and spread its false narrative, the Congress has seemingly forgotten that its own alliance members blackmailed it into withdrawing its support to the bill when it was introduced by the BJP,” the leader added.
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