The Constitution (128th Amendment) Bill, 2023 (Women’s Reservation Bill), which reserves one-third of the seats in parliament and State legislative assemblies for women, was passed by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Members of the Lok Sabha cast their votes for the passage of the bill using slips.
2 MPs abstained from voting on the bill, which received 454 pro votes.
Arjun Ram Meghwal, the Union Minister of State for Law and Justice, introduced the Bill on Tuesday, but MPs objected since they had not seen a copy.
The Bill was introduced by voice vote after the government insisted that it had been “uploaded in the supplementary list of business.”
The Lok Sabha and State legislative assemblies will reserve one-third of all seats for women under the proposed bill.
The seats already reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) will also come within the purview of the women’s reservation.
A legislation on similar lines was sought to be introduced back in 2008. While that Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha in 2010, it failed to see the light of day.
Notably, the Bill states that the reservation will come into effect once an exercise of delimitation is undertaken in the first census after the commencement of the Act.
Sonia Gandhi, the chair of the Congress parliamentary party, stated that the Congress supported the Bill but questioned why it was dependent on the census and delimitation procedure.
She also underlined the necessity of a caste census in order to guarantee reservations for women from OBCs, SCs, and STs.