After the Lok Sabha passed the Women Reservation Bill with a special majority yesterday, the Rajya Sabha has also passed the Bill providing 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies on the fourth day of the Special Parliament Session today. Rajya Sabha has passed the 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill with a majority, with a total of 215 votes in favor and 0 vote against it.

The five-day special session began on September 18, 2023 and will conclude on September 22, 2023. Yesterday, the opposition strongly demanded a quota within a quota while seeking a caste census to be conducted. The Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar reconstituted the panel of Vice-Chairpersons comprising 13 women Rajya Sabha Members for the day.

During the discussion in the Upper House today, PM Narendra Modi while expressing gratitude to all the political parties said that with the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam bill, women will rise as an ‘unprecedented power’. BJP President JP Nadda in the Rajya Sabha said, “Corruption is less where there are more women representatives”. Further, the government highlighting the efficiency of women, cited research and studies which state that under women’s leadership, 62% more work has been done and accomplished in many areas. It was also said that as per the studies, women are more sensitive, and therefore, have better decision making ability, and are more accessible than men as a public representative. In the Lok Sabha today, PM Narendra Modi while expressing gratitude said that with the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam bill, women will rise as an ‘unprecedented power’.

However, the opposition said that the present government is trying to delay the process with “u-turns”. Questioning the intentions of the Centre, “Kaal kare so aaj kar, aaj kare so kal…”, was relied on and mentioned, to seek the implementation of the bill immediately. It was further argued that if the government could bring demonetization, and the three farm laws (which they referred to as “black bills”) overnight, why can’t the same be done for this bill, especially when the government says that they always had the intention. It was also put forth that the Centre should ensure that the bill does not overlook the South Indian states of India. It was also argued that even though a door is opened, there is no entry for women for the next 7.5 years.

While countering the argument of the opposition seeking to enforce the bill without the delimitation process, the government asked, “What if we reserve Wayanad or Amethi? Would they not blame us then?". Furthermore, the Centre on the opposition's demand to include OBCs also in the bill, asked as to why the 108th Amendment Bill introduced in the year 2010 also did not have such a provision.

It is pertinent to note that while following the procedure to enact an amendment bill as the law, which seeks to amend the federal provisions of the Constitution, it will now have to be ratified by the legislatures of half of the states by a simple majority, that is, a majority of the members of the House present and voting.

Yesterday, the Lok Sabha passed the Women's Reservation Bill providing 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies with 454 votes in favour and 2 votes against it.

Earlier, the Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, introduced the Bill as the 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to it as the 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam'. The statements and object of the bill reads, "In order to enable greater participation of women as public representative 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 seat in the House of the People, the legislative assembly of every State and the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi to be reserved for women".

Referring to unsuccessful attempts made in the past to bring the law, PM Narendra Modi said, “think God chose me to carry on such auspicious tasks”. The Prime Minister also said, “Women are progressing in many fields, and are even leading them, therefore it becomes even more important for them to contribute in the policy making as well”.
Read the Bill here