Union Cabinet approves tabling of Women's Reservation Bill

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Union Minister Prahlad Patel yesterday posted on X (formerly twitter) about the approval for the tabling of the bill, however, the post was later deleted

The Union Cabinet on Monday approved the Women’s Reservation Bill which calls for a 33 percent quota to women in Parliament and state legislatures.

This Bill was introduced as the Constitution (Eighty First Amendment) Bill, 1996, in the Lok Sabha by the United Front Government with the objective to reserve 33% seats in the Lok Sabha and all State Legislative Assemblies for women.

Said Bill also states that one-third of the seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will be reserved for women from those groups. These reserved seats may be allotted to different constituencies in the state or union territory by rotation.

Additionally, the Bill clarifies that such reservation shall cease to exist 15 years after the commencement of this Amendment Act.

In August, the Supreme Court had questioned the Central Government on it delay in filing a response to a PIL filed by National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) seeking a writ of mandamus to the Union of India to place the Constitution (One hundred & Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008 or the current draft of the Women’s Reservation Bill before both the Houses of the Parliament.

The plea filed by the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) further states that the Bill and its primary objectives have been publicly supported by mainstream political parties including the present Government regime.

"The election manifestoes of the political parties such as the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC), All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Shiromani Akali Dal, Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM), Biju Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, National Congress Party (NCP) have included the promise of passing the Women’s Reservation Bill. In view thereof it is submitted that while the Bill enjoys the support of a majority of mainstream political parties including the present Government regime still the Bill has not seen the light of the day....", NFIW added.

Referring to the present government's 2019 election manifesto, the plea submits that women’s welfare and development was to be accorded a “high priority” at all levels within the Government and BJP had stated that it was committed to 33% reservation in the Parliament and State Assemblies through a constitutional amendment.