Women's Reservation Bill gets an overwhelming thumbs up from Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha passed the bill with a majority of 452 against 2, clearing the way for the bill to be discussed and put to vote in the upper house
India's lower house of Parliament, Lok Sabha, today passed the Women's Reservation Bill 2023 with an overwhelming majority of 452 against 2, marking an important milestone for the bill.
The bill, which could eventually lead to 33% of all seats in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies, will now head for the Rajya Sabha for discussion and voting.
It is widely expected that the bill will clear the upper house as well.
Meanwhile, there was heated discussion on the bill in Lok Sabha today, with some opposition parties accusing the government of putting up a 'spurious' bill that has so many conditions in it that it will be impossible to implement it in the next ten years.
“What took you [BJP] so long, why wasn't the bill brought in 2014 just before the elections? What they are trying to prove to the people? Is this a gimmick like pulling out a rabbit from the hat and placing it before the country?,” asked Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, the first member from TMC to participate in the parliamentary discussions on the Bill.
Several South Indian MPs also expressed their concern at the bill's implementation being made conditional on delimiation -- or the re-apportionment of Lok Sabha seats according to changes in population of various states.
Participating in the debate today, Home Minister Amit Shah said the next government will conduct the census and the delimitation exercise immediately after the elections.