The Women's Reservation Bill was cleared in the Cabinet meeting chaired by PM Modi, said sources on Monday. According to sources, the bill is likely to be tabled in the new parliament tomorrow.
The decision comes a day after several parties including Congress demanded the passage of the bill in the all-party meeting held on Sunday (September 17).
They demand the bill to be passed in the new Parliament building during the special session. However, the government made no official reaction to their demand.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury after the meeting said, "All opposition parties demanded the passage of women's reservation bill in this Parliament session."
BJP ally and NCP leader Praful Patel said, "We appeal to the government to pass the women's reservation bill in this Parliament session."
Several regional parties including the BJD and the BRS also pushed for tabling of the bill. BJD MP Pinaki Misra said a new era should begin from the new Parliament building and the women's reservation bill should be passed.
BRS leader Kavitha has been a prominent voice in renewing the demand for the passage of the bill in the parliament. In fact, she sat on a hunger strike and held agitation with leaders from other political parties and civil society organisations across India in March 2023.
What is the Women's Reservation Bill?
The bill seeks to reserve one-third of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies. Women MPs account for less than 15 per cent of Lok Sabha strength while their representation is below 10 per cent in many state assemblies, data shows amid a renewed push for the women reservation bill pending for nearly 27 years. The bill was initially introduced in the parliament on September 12, 1996.
Current status of the bill
The last concrete development on the issue was in 2010 when Rajya Sabha passed the bill amid a ruckus with marshals escorting out some MPs who opposed the move to reserve 33 per cent seats for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies, but the bill lapsed as it could not be passed by Lok Sabha.
(With PTI inputs)