Rama Krishna Sangem
If the game-changer women reservation Bill is passed by the Parliament this week, India will soon have a minimum 180 women MPs Lok Sabha MPs. Telangana which will go to polls by the year end or early next year will have minimum 5 Lok Sabha MPs and 39 MLAs. Andhra Pradesh, likewise, will have at least 8 MPs and 58 MLAs. This calculation is based on approximation to the lesser number of fraction.
Presently, we have only 78 MPs in Lok Sabha. So, a minimum of 102 more women parliamentarians will come! Similarly, in Telangana presently there are 6 women MLAs – 5 from BRS and 1 from Congress and 1 woman MP. It is not clear, if this quota will also be extended to Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils. Sources say, the quota Bill cover all law making bodies – including RS and MLCs.
The Bill proposes 33 per cent reservation to women in LS and assemblies. For instance, 33 per cent of 119 Assembly seats will be 39.66 seats. If it is round off to 40, it means, the reservation exceeds 33 per cent. So the rounding off may happen to the lesser number. We need to see, how this approximation will work out at on the whole. It is also not clear how this will be calculated at the national level.
Some states may have slightly more than exact 33 per cent quota. But overall, it will be adjusted to the limits. Sources in the Election Commission of India told Excel India that there will be a commission to identify the seats reserved to women, both in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. If an commission headed by a retired Supreme Court judge is set up for this, it will take at least 3-4 months to complete the process.
5 state polls maybe delayed
In that case, the elections to five states assemblies – Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram – will be delayed up to April-May next year, to be held along with that of Lok Sabha. This cannot be called as simultaneous polls, as it needs a separate law. But, clubbing of 5 state polls and LS looks certain. In all probability, Parliament will pass the Bill by September 22. President Murmu will give her assent to it within no time.