Lok Sabha, the lower house of Indian parliament, on Wednesday passed the ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ or ‘Women Reservation bill’. While 454 MPs voted for the bill, two voted against it.

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, seeks to meet a long-pending demand and will provide 33 per cent reservation to women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies. 

For and Against

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The bill received overwhelming support in the lower house, with 454 members voting in favour of the bill. Only two Lok Sabha members, from All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Asaduddin Owaisi and his colleague Imtiaz Jaleel voting against it.

After successfully clearing Lok Sabha, the 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill will now move to Rajya Sabha for discussion and passing.

Bill gets Rahul Gandhi’s support

As per news agency ANI, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi extended his support to the Women’s Reservation Bill. However, he said that the measure was “incomplete” as it lacks a quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC).

“The moment the opposition raises the issue of caste census and Adani, the BJP tries to raise a new event so that the OBC community and the people of India look the other way. In my research for the speech, I took a look at the different institutions that define how our country moves forward. There are many — Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Sabha, bureaucracy, the press. And I look with an eye to understand what is the participation of the OBC community in these institutions,” said Gandhi during a speech in Lok Sabha. 

He further said that the Women’s Reservation Bill is a big step, but that he would like to see the OBC reservation included in this bill. 

“It (Women’s Reservation Bill) is a big step and I am sure everybody – the treasury benches and the Opposition – in this room agrees that this is a very important step for the women of our country. There is one thing, in my view, that makes this bill incomplete. I would like to have seen the OBC reservation included in this bill.”

Comparing the bill to the 1959 implementation of the Panchayati Raj, he said the bill was another big step to facilitate the transfer of power to women. 

“Women have fought for independence and they are as capable as many men. One thing makes this women’s reservation bill incomplete, would like to have seen the OBC reservation included. I think it is very important that a large chunk of India’s population and women has access to the reservation and that is missing in this bill,” he added. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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