The Women’s Reservation Bill (Nari Shakti Vandan Act, 2023), brought through the 128th Constitutional Amendment in the special session of Parliament, has now been passed in the Rajya Sabha as well. During voting in Rajya Sabha, everyone raised their voice in favor of this bill, while not a single voice came in opposition. Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar announced the unanimous passing of the bill. However, due to constitutional provisions, formal voting was conducted. 215 members voted in its favor, while not a single vote was cast in opposition.
Just before voting in Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also reached the House, after which the voting process was completed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that 132 members stood up to discuss this bill, which is historic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his gratitude while congratulating all the MPs for supporting the Women’s Reservation Bill.
The Prime Minister said that the way unity has been shown in Parliament on the Women’s Reservation Bill, it will be remembered as an amazing example. PM Modi said that women power is not being respected just by passing the bill, but by having positive thinking in everyone’s mind. This is going to be the guarantee of our bright future. Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to all the MPs in the Rajya Sabha for unanimous voting and thanked everyone wholeheartedly.
Finance Minister and Law Minister gave answers on behalf of the government
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took the lead to answer this bill on behalf of the government. He selectively attacked Congress and also enumerated the mistakes made by Congress in the past. During this, he said that this law will come into force after the delimitation is done after the census. At the same time, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge surrounded the BJP government, saying that this law could have been brought any time in 9 years.
However, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, in response to the opposition’s questions, said that this law can be implemented only after an important task like census is completed. For this, we will have to wait till 2026 to overcome the constitutional obligations, only then the delimitation will be possible.
Mallikarjun Kharge tried to corner the government
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said that the BJP government has an overwhelming majority. You did many things in one go. Demonetization was done. But the issue of women’s reservation remained pending. He said that Modi government could have given women reservation in rotation from now. He said that reservation could have been given to women of OBC category also, for this a provision could have been brought by amending the Constitution.
He said that despite all the disagreements, I fully support the bill. He questioned the government for not including backward class women in reservation. He also asked the government for the date to implement this law.
Women’s reservation issue part of BJP’s manifesto
Intervening in the discussion, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that this bill has been prepared very thoughtfully because it has been seen that previous governments also tried but failed. He said that the need for this was being felt for a long time. He said that just as the issue of abrogation of Article 370 has been included in every manifesto of BJP, similarly the issue of women’s reservation has also been included.
Women’s reservation is not a matter of politics, it is an issue of faith.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Women’s Reservation Bill has never been a matter of politics for BJP but an issue of faith. He said the bill was not a ‘jumla’ as alleged by many opposition members. He said that this is a legal process which will take time.
Earlier, while replying on behalf of the government, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told when this law will be implemented. He said that as far as the implementation of the proposed reservation for women is concerned, there will be a fresh review after the enactment of the Bill and whenever the first census is conducted after the implementation of the Bill and the relevant data of that census is published. Delimitation exercise is also done.
Also gave credit to PV Narasimha Rao government
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “I want to give credit to the government of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao for bringing 33 percent reservation in Panchayat Raj at that time. As a result, we have seen a grassroots improvement at the Panchayat level, where today there is 33% reservation by many states. This has been increased to 50 percent, which reflects the contribution of women at the panchayat level.”
Those who talk about haste will reach the Supreme Court
BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi said that those who are hastily talking about implementing women’s reservation only from the 2024 parliamentary elections, will be the first to approach the Supreme Court against such a step. He said that in the year 1991, the Narasimha Rao government had issued an executive order giving 10 percent reservation to the upper caste poor, but the Supreme Court had declared it unconstitutional and rejected the reservation. “The central government cannot leave any legal error in deciding and implementing reservation for women,” he said.
The bill was passed with an overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha
Earlier, the Women’s Reservation Bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha in a special session of the Parliament. ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Act, 2023’ was passed in the Lok Sabha by 454 votes against 2. With this, the way has been cleared for giving 33% reservation to women in Lok Sabha and Assemblies. Home Minister Amit Shah said that in all 3 categories, i.e. Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and general category women will get 33% reservation. He said that the work of determining reservation of seats will be done in a transparent manner.