New Delhi: A day after Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (128th Amendment) Bill, 2023 proposing 33% quota in the Lok Sabha and state Legislative Assemblies for women, Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Thursday introduced the document in the Rajya Sabha.
Moving the Bill in the Upper House, Meghwal described it as a landmark step.
“This reservation is both horizontal as well as vertical. The Bill provides reservation for SCs and STs as well. As soon as this Bill is passed, census and delimitation will happen. These are processes. The Delimitation Commission will decide which seat will be reserved for women,” Meghwal said.
The minister said the country is moving from women’s development to women-led development.
Quota for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies has been a long-pending demand. In the past, attempts were made to introduce reservations for women but failed. The last such attempt was made during the UPA-II government in 2010, when Rajya Sabha passed the women’s reservation Bill but it could not be taken up for voting in the Lok Sabha following stiff opposition from some parties.
“In order to enable greater participation of women as public representatives in policy making at State and national level, it is decided to introduce a fresh legislation for Constitutional amendment to provide for, as nearly as may be, one-third of total seats in the House of the People (Lok Sabha), the legislative assembly of every state and the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi to be reserved for women,” states the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Constitution (128th Amendment) Bill, 2023.
Participating in the discussion, INC leader Ranjeet Ranjan said the UPA government passed the women’s reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha in 2010, but the incumbent government took more than nine years to bring the quota Bill.
She questioned the timing of the Bill and asked why it is not being implemented immediately.
Earlier after the House assembled for the day’s proceedings, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar named more women members to the panel of Vice Chairpersons for the day ‘considering the historic importance of proceedings today’.