New Delhi, September 21
Parliament today passed the Constitution (128th) Amendment Bill, 2023, with the Rajya Sabha clearing it unanimously. Yesterday, the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill.
The Bill provides for reservation of one-third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies for women.
Guarantee for nation’s bright future: PM
Shortly before the Bill was put to vote, PM Modi urged the members to pass it unanimously. He said political empowerment of women would be a “guarantee for the bright future of the country”.
All 215 members present in the Rajya Sabha voted in favour of the Bill.
Amendments to the Bill proposed by Congress, Left, RJD and SP members demanding introduction of OBC quota in the 33 per cent seats reserved for women were turned down by a voice vote.
Shortly before the Bill was put to vote, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the Rajya Sabha and urged the members to pass it unanimously. Noting that all those members who had participated in the debate had already expressed their support for the Bill, Modi said he would like to compliment the members and would also like to express his gratitude to them.
Both houses adjourned sine die
The PM said political empowerment of women would be a “guarantee for the bright future of the country”.
Earlier, in his reply to the debate, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said 72 members took part in the debate on the Bill today. He thanked all those who participated in the debate.
Responding to the Opposition’s charge that the deadline for the implementation of the 33 per cent quota for women in the Lok Sabha, state Assembles and Delhi Assembly had been deliberately kept vague by the government, Sitharaman said delimitation of the constituencies was a prerequisite for the implementation of the law.
Sitharaman said the government, in an amendment carried out in 2002, had “frozen” delimitation till 2026. She said decennial Census would be most likely held early next year. After the Census was complete, the delimitation of constituencies, which is a quasi-judicial exercise supervised by retired Supreme Court judge, would take place. This would be followed by implementation of the policy of reserving 33% seats for women in legislatures, she said. All members who spoke during the day backed the Bill.
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