New Delhi, September 19
Twenty-seven years after it was first tabled, the women’s reservation bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday as the very first agenda of the New Parliament after Prime Minister Narendra Modi led MPs to the new House following a farewell to the old in an hour- long event at the central hall of old Parliament on Tuesday morning.
“God has chosen me for pure deeds. Today we will write history…Let’s open the doors for Nari Shakti,” the prime minister said announcing the government’s decision to introduce Nari Shakti Vandan Bill for 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and state assemblies.
The prime minister called upon the House for consensus on the Constitution 128th amendment Bill moments before Congress MPs sought to storm the well on the very first day of the new house protesting the absence of hard copy of the bill after law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal introduced it.
“Please find the bill in the revised list of business. It has also been uploaded on the tabs before you,” Meghwal told the protesting opposition MPs even as the Congress leader in his first remarks in the new House said the bill passed during the UPA time in 2010 was alive, a remark the Union Home Minister contested on record asking Adhir to either authenticate or withdraw his comment.
“The previous bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2010. The Rajya Sabha reported it to Lok Sabha and the bill became property of the Lok Sabha. It eventually lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha on May 18, 2014,” the home minister said challenging Adhir to prove his remarks.
Shah also challenged Adhir on his remarks that the bill had earlier been passed by Lok Sabha but failed in Rajya Sabha.
“Both remarks of Adhir Ranjan are factually incorrect and must be authenticated or withdrawn,” said Shah as the new house saw old acrimony.
The prime minister earlier said the bill would strengthen his government’s resolve on women-led development.
“Women’s contribution in politics should increase, so also their presence in policymaking,” said the PM in a move that seeks to woo half the population of the country ahead of the crucial state and Lok Sabha polls.
The provisions of the bill are the same as before.
Meghwal said the bill amends four articles of the Constitution — Article 239 AA reserving 33 per cent seats for women in NCT of Delhi assembly; Article 330 A for one-third reservation for women in Lok Sabha, Article 332 A for one-third women reservation in state assemblies and Article 334 A providing for women reservation for 15 years and giving Parliament the power to extend this period.
Once the bill gets passed, it will reserve 181 out of 543 Lok Sabha seats for women candidates.
Key highlights of Nari Shakti Bill
- To come into effect only after the first delimitation exercise post the next Census which won’t be before 2026
- Rotation of reserved seats for women after every delimitation
- Quotas likely to be effective only by 2029 Lok Sabha polls once the current cap on delimitation lifts in 2026
- Bill provides quota within quota: one third seats under 33 pc reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies to be set aside for SC and ST women
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