Delimitation hurdle for women quota

A TDP leader, on the condition of anonymity, told this paper that the party will not support delimitation as the state will lose Lok Sabha seats.
Delimitation hurdle for women quota
(Express Illustrations)

NEW DELHI: With its Southern allies in play, the BJP-led NDA government may face roadblocks in implementing the Women’s Reservation Bill, which hinges on Census and delimitation.

With the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the main ally of the NDA, calling for consensus on delimitation, the BJP may face huge challenges in implementing the bill passed during Modi 2.0. The 33% quota for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies will come into force after delimitation of Lok Sabha seats, scheduled for 2026.

Several Opposition parties from the South have raised concerns that the delimitation on the basis of population would lead to the states losing out in representation as they were successful in controlling population. To undertake the delimitation, the government must conduct the decadal Census, which has been indefinitely postponed since 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Delimitation hurdle for women quota
Autonomy required for Delimitation Commission

Speaking to this newspaper, senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore said the linkage with delimitation could delay the implementation of women’s reservation, adding the BJP is planning it for 2034. “The entire Opposition voted for the passage of the bill and we want it to be immediately implemented. But the government’s real intention is to delay it,” he said.

A TDP leader, on the condition of anonymity, told this paper that the party will not support delimitation as the state will lose Lok Sabha seats.

Echoing the view, noted economist and former chief statistician Pronab Sen told this paper that the women’s quota will get stuck because delimitation and census have been written into the bill. “Why should the implementation of the Women’s bill be connected to delimitation? The government will face opposition from Southern states as well as from Maharashtra and Gujarat,” said Sen, adding it can delink quota from the delimitation provision by amending the bill.

Would it politically help the govt at all?

The question is whether the govt would go for delimitation after the BJP faced setbacks in states like UP. “In 2019, the BJP swept the Hindi heartland. Now the landscape has changed. Even if UP or Bihar get more seats after delimitation, it may not benefit the BJP,” Pronab Sen said.

Delimitation hurdle for women quota
Delimitation will require ample sagacity

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com