The Cabinet of Union Ministers along with PM Narendra Modi indicated the approval of the amendment in the Constitution for the Women’s Reservation Bill. The Women’s Reservation Bill demands an increase in seat reservation for women candidates in the Parliament, which includes both the upper and the lower house, as well as the state assemblies.
Note that the 2023 Women’s Reservation Bill is different from the last attempt made in 2010 as it expands beyond the Lok Sabha and state assembly reservation and here’s why.
There was no provision for quota within quota in the 2010 bill, which was a major demand from many leaders. Attempts have been made since 1996 for this bill but failed several times. In 2010, the UPA government passed the bill in the Rajya Sabha, or the Upper House but struggled to pass the bill in the Lok Sabha. The 2023 bill is a bit different as both the Ruling party, NDA with BJD, and the opposition parties like Congress and Trinamool are in support, providing a smooth passage for the bill to pass. The bill will probably receive the support of 431 MPs in Lok Sabha and 175 in Rajya Sabha.
The Union Cabinet met on Monday at 6.30 p.m., as opposed to its customary day of Wednesday. Despite the lengthy meeting lasting nearly 1.5 hours, none of the decisions were formally announced.
“Only the Modi government had the moral guts to accede to the demand for women’s reservation,” said Union Minister of State for Food Processing and Jal Shakti Prahalad Singh Patel on X, hours after the conclusion of the Union Cabinet meeting. which the cabinet’s consent served as proof of. He added, “Congratulations to the Modi administration, including @PMOIndia, @BJP4India, and @BJP4MP, as well as @narendramodi ji.”
Mahesh Jethamalani, a Rajya Sabha member, stated on X “By approving the #WomensReservationBill ensuring a third of seats are reserved for women in Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies, #PMModi’s Cabinet has dealt a huge blow to women’s empowerment.”
Former Minister of Law and Justice of India, Ram Jethmalani shared his views and said “The Bill, which was first introduced to Parliament in 1996, has lain dormant ever since. Since 1996, successive governments have been unable to muster the will to push for the Bill’s passage into law. My impression is that the Bill has been in the works ever since the Prime Minister advocated for Nari Shakti during his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort in 2022. The PM has since emphasized Nari Shakti numerous times, most recently in Bengaluru following the triumphant premiere of Chandrayaan 3 when he declared Nari Shakti to be the pinnacle of life and catalyst of change.” Jethmalani, praising PM Modi’s move added that every party has just supported Gender Equality half-heartedly but in reality, “Modi hai to mumkin hai.”