Ahead of the crucial election, the BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the long-awaited women’s reservation bill as the first item on the agenda in the new Parliament House, where MPs will conduct business after bidding farewell to the old House on Ganesh Chaturthi.
Important provisions in the law in new Parliament
- 33% quota for women in Lok Sabha, Assemblies, Delhi Assembly (where direct elections are held)
- There is no reservation in Rajya Sabha/State Legislative Assemblies (where indirect elections are held).
- Within the 33% quota 1/3 Lok Sabha seats will be reserved for SC/ST women; There is no quota for OBC women
- Seats reserved on rotation after each delimitation in new Parliament
“God has chosen me for many pure deeds. We write history today. The Nari Shakti Vandan Act will strengthen democracy and take forward our resolve for women-led development,” said Prime Minister Modi as his government introduced the Constitution (128th) Amendment Bill, 2023 in the new Lok Sabha. He sought consensus to approve it. The law has been in operation since September 1996 when the first draft was introduced in Parliament.
In its current form, the bill seeks to amend four articles of the Constitution (239AA, 330A, 332A and 334A) to provide 33% reservation and one-third quota for SCs in the Lok Sabha, state legislatures and the Delhi Assembly. / ST women within the 33% bracket in the Lok Sabha and limit reservation benefits to 15 years, unless Parliament wishes to extend this period. The draft bill tabled today said that the seats reserved for women will be rotated after each delimitation process. Importantly, however, the 33% reservation for women will come into effect only after delimitation, the first census being conducted after the Nari Shakti Bill comes into force.
Strength in lok sabha
- Member: 543
- Women MPs: 82
- Post Quota: 181
As population-based delimitation is currently on hold until the first census after 2026, the women’s quota will not be implemented until after the 2029 Lok Sabha elections.
There is a long road ahead
The first census will be effective only after delimitation after the Act. Delimitation has been put on hold till 2026.
The Congress, which welcomed the bill in principle, accused the government of event management and party chief Mallikarjuna Kharge said: “The Women’s Bill says the quota will come into force only after the decennial census and delimitation exercise. This means the government has closed the door on the women’s quota till 2029. The government has already delayed the census before the 2024 general elections. (scheduled to be held in 2021) will be held, party general secretary Jairam Ramesh asked.
First introduced 27 years ago
- Introduced in the Lok Sabha in the HD Deve Gowda-led government in 1996, it stalled after the dissolution of the 11th Lok Sabha.
- 1998 reintroduced in the 12th Lok Sabha under the AB Vajpayee-led government and again in the 13th Lok Sabha (1999); Timeless
- Introduced in 2008 RS (moves to parl panel); Passed in 2010; Sent to LS; It ended after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.
- 2023 Re-introduced in Lok Sabha by BJP Government
Earlier today, the new Lok Sabha witnessed the old method of disruption as the Congress and some other opposition MPs created an uproar over the disappearance of a hard copy of the women’s quota bill tabled by Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal. Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were not present at this time.
The name of the old Parliament was ‘Constitutional Sadan’.
“Please find the bill in the revised agenda uploaded in the tab before you and learn the digital devices,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told the chanting MPs. In the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary raised two claims regarding the law – that the “women quota” bill passed under the Congress-led UPA in 2010 was still alive and that the bill had been passed by the Lok Sabha earlier.
The tender for the construction of the new Parliament House was awarded to Tata Project.
Built up area of 65,000 square meters
Adhir’s statements were questioned by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who said both statements were factually incorrect. “Adhir must either certify his comments or retract them,” Shah said sharply, defining the first act of the new House after the Prime Minister appealed for decorum. “The way we behave in this House will decide who gets to sit where in this House,” he said. Overall, the BJP hopes that the introduction of the bill will create a favorable perception in its favor as the 2024 Lok Sabha elections will be held in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.
Two rooms in new Parliament
888 seats in Lok Sabha
Rajya Sabha has a seating capacity of 384
The Prime Minister today personally introduced the Women’s Bill and described it as an extension of the BJP’s “women-friendly regime” under which 70% of Mudra loans, 80% of startup loans, most Jan Dhan accounts are opened by women.