Women's reservation bill introduced in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: A day after the lower house of the parliament passed a two-thirds majority, the government on Thursday introduced the women’s reservation bill in Rajya Sabha.

The bill envisages to reserve one-third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women. 

While introducing the bill in the upper house of the parliament, Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said the bill was part of a series of measures the government has taken to empower women.

Introducing the 128th Constitution Amendment Bill, Meghwal recounted the measures initiated by the Narendra Modi government for the empowerment of women over the past nine years.

From opening zero-balance, Jan Dhan accounts in the name of women to constructing lakhs of toilets, making women owners or co-owners of dwelling units given under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and giving free cooking gas connections to women were steps to give dignity and respect to women, he said, adding that 68 per cent of the beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) are women.

Meghwal said the 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies will be horizontal and vertical, thereby applying to the SC-ST category as well.

The delimitation commission, he said, will decide which seats will go to women.

Earlier, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said he has dispensed with the provision of giving a two-day notice before the introduction of a bill so as to allow the women’s reservation bill to be tabled and discussed in the Upper House the very next day of its passage in the Lok Sabha.

The legislation is widely expected to get the approval of the Upper House.

It will then require the approval of a majority of the state assemblies. It will be implemented after a delimitation exercise based on the Census data.

This is the seventh attempt since 1996 to get the women’s reservation bill passed.

(With PTI inputs)