Narendra Modi Government
Mulling to Clear Women's Reservation Bill Next?
News 18, September
The bill was
cleared by the Rajya Sabha in 2010 during the UPA regime. As
part of a larger outreach to women, the Congress had projected
it as a victory for its President and UPA chairperson Sonia
In what is being seen as an attempt to send a strong message on
women empowerment just ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,
the central government is actively mulling the possibility of
passing the Women's Reservation Bill at the Parliament.
The bill was cleared by the Rajya Sabha in 2010 during the UPA
regime. As part of a larger outreach to women, the Congress had
projected it as a victory for its President and UPA chairperson
The Manmohan Singh government, however, could not get the Bill
passed in the Lok Sabha in the face of stiff opposition from
allies like Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and even
In fact some Congress MPs too were opposed to the Bill.
The Bill, however, did not lapse after the UPA government
demitted office in 2014 as the legislation was introduced and
cleared by the Rajya Sabha, which is a permanent house.
The Bill has been pending before Parliament since then and now
sources have told News18 that the Modi government wishes to
bring it back.
It would be the second piece of high impact legislation after
GST, another unfinished agenda of the UPA government. While GST
was seen as a landmark statute to bring about tax reforms, the
women’s bill will reserve one-third of the seats in state
legislatures and Parliament for women.
The PM has made it clear on many platforms that women’s
empowerment politically and economically, is his priority. The
push to ban triple talaq was seen as part of this political
message. Ujwala Scheme, zero balance accounts, ease of opening
bank accounts for women and cash transfers instead of ration, is
being seen as an attempt to build a narrative to carve out a
constituency in a patriarchal setup.
Sources have told News18 that government has already begun
backroom consultations on this issue.
The first unsuccessful bid to clear the Bill was made in 1996.
The Bill has however lapsed each time. The Vajpayee government
tried to clear the Bill in 1998, but was repeatedly unsuccessful
and blamed the Congress for this.
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