In a momentous move, the Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, on Thursday, which paves the way for reserving one-third of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies. The Women's Reservation Bill (Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam) received overwhelming support from MPs across party lines, with 215 votes in favour and none against it in the Upper House. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, concluding the debate on the Bill, asserted that it would instill newfound confidence in the nation and reflect the positive thinking of all political parties, ultimately energising women's empowerment.
A defining moment in our nation's democratic journey: PM Modi
"A defining moment in our nation's democratic journey! Congratulations to 140 crore Indians. I thank all the Rajya Sabha MPs who voted for the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam. Such unanimous support is indeed gladdening. With the passage of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam in Parliament, we usher in an era of stronger representation and empowerment for the women of India. This is not merely a legislation; it is a tribute to the countless women who have made our nation. India has been enriched by their resilience and contributions. As we celebrate today, we are reminded of the strength, courage, and indomitable spirit of all the women of our nation. This historic step is a commitment to ensuring their voices are heard even more effectively," PM wrote on X.
The PM said, “This bill will lead to a new confidence in the people of the country. It also shows the positive thinking of all the political parties which will give new energy to women’s empowerment.”
Significance of Women's Reservation Bill
Passed in both the Houses, the bill to ensure 33 per cent reservation of one-third of seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women, is now all set to become a law.
The passage of the Women's Reservation Bill holds historic importance as it's the first bill which was placed in the new Parliament.
Earlier today, introducing the 128th Constitution Amendment Bill, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal recounted the measures initiated by the Narendra Modi government for the empowerment of women over the last nine years.
Meghwal said the 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies will be both horizontal and vertical, thereby applying to the SC-ST category as well. The delimitation commission, he said, will decide which seats will go to women.
Golden moment, says PM Modi
After passage of the bill in Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed it a "golden moment" in India's parliamentary history and credited the leaders of all political parties and members of the House for the achievement.
"Delighted at the passage of The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha with such phenomenal support. I thank MPs across Party lines who voted in support of this Bill," PM Modi said.
"The Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam is a historic legislation which will further boost women empowerment and will enable even greater participation of women in our political process," the Prime Minister added.
"To accomplish this sacred task, I, as the leader of the House, have stood to acknowledge and express gratitude from the core of my heart for your contribution, support and meaningful debate."
Will script new chapter in history of women's empowerment, says Amit Shah
On Wednesday Union Home Minister Amit Shah hailed the passing of the 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam' in Lok Sabha, saying it will harness the power of women in shaping the destiny of the country.
The bill will not only script a new chapter in the history of women's empowerment but also foster equitable and gender-inclusive development in the country. It will strengthen the country's parliamentary democracy by making the laws and policies more gender-inclusive and effective, he said.
“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to PM @narendramodi for the Women's Reservation Bill, passed in the Lok Sabha today. It has transformed the political discourse in our nation,” he wrote on X.
"The new bill will harness their power in shaping the destiny of our nation," he said.
"The bill envisaged by PM @narendramodi will not only script a new chapter in the history of women's empowerment but also foster equitable and gender-inclusive development in our nation,” he said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam' is a gift by a grateful nation to the women scientists of space agency ISRO.
“This special session of Parliament is dedicated to the 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam'. In such a situation, I consider the bill as a gift presented by a grateful nation to the women scientists of ISRO, and along with them the entire female scientific community of India."
Congress demands immediate implementation, OBC inclusion
The Congress party, which supported the bill brought by the Modi government, raised its voice against the proposed implementation of the bill and demanded that the government should implement it immediately.
During the debate in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul demanded that the bill should be implemented immediately.
Sonia Gandhi also asked the government to include women from Other Backward Classes (OBCs) as beneficiary in the bill.
Several Congress MPs also moved amendments for the immediate implementation of the women's reservation bill.