The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the tabling of the women’s reservation bill in Parliament, according to a post Union Minister Prahlad Patel on social media. While the post has since been deleted, numerous media outlets have reported, citing anonymous government sources, that the bill has indeed been approved. Although specific details of the bill have not been made public, it is widely believed that it aims to provide 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha.
The announcement of a special session of Parliament was made last month Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi without revealing the agenda. Recently, the agenda for the session was unveiled, which included eight bills, but the women’s reservation bill was not among them.
Today, the special session commenced with a discussion on India’s parliamentary journey over the past 75 years. Various political parties, despite the absence of the women’s reservation bill on the agenda, expressed their support for its reintroduction. K Kavitha, a lawmaker from the Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS), wrote to 47 political parties, urging them to unite in passing the bill during the special session.
In 2010, the Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008, also known as the ‘women’s reservation bill’, which aimed to reserve one-third of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. However, the bill lapsed after the dissolution of the Lok Sabha and was not reintroduced.
Currently, the Supreme Court is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), calling for the reintroduction of the bill. The NFIW argues that the bill has the support of all political parties and is included in their manifestos. The petitioner contends that the government should not delay the bill indefinitely on the grounds of further consideration and the need for consensus.
The court has questioned the central government’s reluctance to respond to the plea and has indicated that it will issue an order during the next hearing. The decision on the women’s reservation bill is eagerly awaited and holds the potential to bring about significant changes in promoting gender equality in Indian politics.
– Union Minister Prahlad Patel
– Anonymous government sources
– K Kavitha, Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) lawmaker
– National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW)
– The Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008