Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India]: People’s Democratic Party Chief Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said that Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam is an “important step” in the progress of the country after the Women’s Reservation Bill was tabled today in Lok Sabha.
Women’s Reservation Bill grants 33 per cent reservation for women in both the Lok Sabha (the lower house of India’s Parliament) and state assemblies.
Speaking to the reporters here, Mufti said that the Central government led by the BJP which has been in power for the last 9 years could have moved the Bill earlier ensuring women’s participation in the upcoming general elections.
“NDA government is about to complete 10 years. If they had done this earlier, women would have had a chance to participate in large numbers in the 2024 elections. But it is better late than never, it is a good thing… This will be an important step in the progress of the country…” she said.
The Union Cabinet on Monday approved the Women’s Reservation Bill.
On Tuesday, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal introduced the bill in the first sitting of Lok Sabha in the new Parliament building. The bill has been named Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam.
Introducing the bill in the house the minister said, “This bill is in relation to women empowerment. By amending Article 239AA of the Constitution, 33 per cent of seats will be reserved for women in the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. Article 330A reservations of seats for SC/ST in the House of People.”
Arjun Meghwal also said that once the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam is passed, the number of seats for women in Lok Sabha will increase to 181.
The Bill will be taken up in Rajya Sabha on September 21 government sources said.
The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, seeks to introduce three new articles and one new clause in the Constitution.
Under a new clause in 239AA, seats shall be reserved for women in the Delhi Legislative Assembly, 1/3rd of the seats reserved for SCs shall be reserved for women, 1/3rd of the total number of seats to be filled by direct elections shall be reserved for women through law determined by parliament
Under the new Article – 330A, reservation for women in Lok Sabha – 1/3rd of seats reserved for SCs and STs shall be reserved for women, 1/3rd of total seats to be filled by direct elections to the Lok Sabha shall be reserved for women.
As per the new article 332A, the reserved seats for women in every state Legislative Assembly, 1/3rd of seats reserved for SCs and STs shall be reserved for women, 1/3rd of total seats to be filled by direct elections to the LA shall be reserved for women
334A, a new article says that reservation shall come into effect after the delimitation is undertaken after the relevant figures for the first census have been published. The rotation of seats for women shall take effect after each subsequent exercise of delimitation.
In 2008, the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government tabled the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, and it was passed in 2010. However, the Bill was never taken up for consideration in the Lok Sabha.
Speaking on the Bill, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said that his party has never opposed the process of reservation.
“…Let it come…We have implemented it here at the levels that were appropriate for us in the Panchayats and local bodies. We did it much before Govt of India, much before August 5, 2019. We have never opposed the process of reservation so that women get their rightful place in the decision-making of this country…,” Abdullah said.
Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi has also extended her support for the Bill and said that it was ‘necessary’.
“It has been a struggle for 30 years. Our Constitution has promised equality…This bill was necessary…Many parties reminded the BJP of their promise as per their manifesto released 9.5 years ago,” Chaturvedi said.
The UBT leader further hit out at the Centre, alleging that the government opened the doors but still, there is ‘no entry’ for women as this bill cannot be implemented till 2029.
“It came late but I hope it comes to act soon. It was written in the bill that it would not be enacted immediately as it would only come to act once delimitation is exercised. That means till 2029, this reservation won’t be implemented. They have opened the doors but still there is no entry for women,” she added.
The Bill, however, will be taken up for discussion in Lok Sabha on Wednesday when the House will meet, said Union minister and President of the Republican Party of India (Athawale), Ramdas Athawale.