Rama Krishna Sangem
The much awaited Women Reservation Bill will be introduced in Lok Sabha on September 20, Wednesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the Union Cabinet meeting on September 18, Monday in the Parliament premises and cleared the Bill. Top sources in the government said, the Bill will be tabled in the New Parliament building most probably on Wednesday. Rajya Sabha too will take it up the same day or the day next.
This will be the third time Women’s reservation Bill come up before the Parliament in 27 years. First time, the Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha as 86th Constitutional amendment Bill in 1996, but it has been cleared by the House. But, in 2010, the Congress led UPA government got it passed in Rajya Sabha as 108th Constitutional amendment Bill. Again, it got stuck there as Lok Sabha hasn’t taken it up subsequently.
Now, Modi government has decided to bring it afresh and table before both the Houses of Parliament in one go, sources said. If every thing goes well, it will be passed by the Parliament in this special session itself and will become a reality with immediate effect. As per the Bill, details of which are shared by the top BJP ministers Monday night, 33 per cent Lok Sabha seats and 33 per cent those of assembly will be reserved for women.
SC/ST reservations will be maintained in the women’s quota too. But, the important point of fixing quota within the quota for OBC women is not addressed in the draft bill, sources said. Precisely for the same reason, the Bill got stuck two times in the past – 1996 and 2010. OBC leaders like late Sharad Yadav and Lalu Yadav then alleged that the bill was intended to benefit women from forward castes only.
Telangana & 4 assemblies and LS will be impacted
If the Bill is passed in the ongoing special session, the women’s quota will come into forces for the upcoming assembly elections in Telangana and four other states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram – in 2023 and LS polls and other assemblies polls in 2024. If that is the case, the five states assemblies elections might be delayed as Election Commission has to notify seats reserved for women, sources said.