Lok Sabha passes Women’s Reservation Bill, Meghwal says ‘history being made’
New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Women’s Reservation Bill which provides for 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, was passed after a reply by Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal.
The Bill was passed following division with 454 members voting in favour of the legislation and two against it on the motion for the passage moved by Meghwal. The amendments moved by opposition members were negatived and there was also voting on clauses of the bill.
Speaker Om Birla announced that the Bill had been passed.
The 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam' is the first bill passed by Lok Sabha after it shifted to the new Parliament building on Tuesday.
The bill was passed by a majority of the total membership of the House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the House “present and voting”
The division was carried out through the distribution of slips.
Meghwal said “history” was being made with the passage of the bill.
Rejecting the opposition’s criticism about the delay in the implementation of provisions of the Bill, Meghwal said that the bill ensures transparency. The bill was passed after a day-long debate which was initiated by Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.
Intervening in the debate, Home Minister Amit Shah also rejected the opposition’s contention and said the bill will follow due procedure and seats which are to be reserved will be decided by the Delimitation Commission.
Several opposition members including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that caste census and delimitation are not required for implementing the Women’s Reservation Bill and it should come into force soon after it is passed by Parliament.
"There is one thing in my view that makes this bill incomplete. I would like to have seen the OBC reservation included in this bill," Gandhi said.
"Delimitation and census is not required, the bill should be immediately implemented," the Congress leader added.
The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023 is expected to be taken up by the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The Rajya Sabha had earlier passed the Women’s Reservation Bill in 2010 during the Congress-led UPA government but it was not taken up in the Lok Sabha and subsequently lapsed in the lower House of Parliament.
The government introduced the new bill on Tuesday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing the government’s intention to bring 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam'.
Sources said the division was carried out through slips as information regarding division numbers in the New House is awaited from some parties in the Lok Sabha.
The Special Session of Parliament began on Monday and will continue till Friday.