NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 29: President Droupadi Murmu has given her assent to the women’s reservation bill which seeks to provide 33% reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.
According to a Law Ministry notification issued on Friday, the President gave her assent on Thursday. Now, it will be officially known as the Constitution (106th Amendment) Act.
According to its provision, “It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.”
The ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhniyam’, which provides 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha as well as State Legislative Assemblies, was unanimously passed by the Rajya Sabha, becoming the first bill to be passed in the new Parliament building.
On September 20, the Bill was passed following division with 454 members voting in favour of the legislation and 2 against it on the motion seeking its passage. The amendments moved by the Opposition members were negatived and separate clauses of the draft legislation were also voted on.
On September 21, Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam was ‘unanimously’ passed in Rajya Sabha.
Women members of both Houses of Parliament, including PT Usha, and Union Ministers Meenakashi Lekhi and Smriti Irani, were all smiles as they presented a bouquet to Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the historic passage of the Bill in Parliament.
The Rajya Sabha had earlier passed the Women’s Reservation Bill in 2010 during the Congress-led UPA Government but it was not taken up in the Lok Sabha and subsequently lapsed in the lower House of Parliament.
After the Bill cleared the legislative hurdles in both Houses last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam in Parliament will usher in an era of stronger representation and empowerment for women in the country.
“A defining moment in our nation’s democratic journey! Congratulations to 140 crore Indians. I thank all the Rajya Sabha MPs who voted for the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam. Such unanimous support is indeed gladdening. With the passage of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam in Parliament, we usher in an era of stronger representation and empowerment for the women of India. This is not merely a legislation; it is a tribute to the countless women who have made our nation. India has been enriched by their resilience and contributions. As we celebrate today, we are reminded of the strength, courage, and indomitable spirit of all the women of our nation. This historic step is a commitment to ensuring their voices are heard even more effectively”, PM Modi said on the social media platform, X.
While the Opposition leaders welcomed the bill, some flagged concerns over the non-inclusion of an OBC sub-quota in the draft legislation.
Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha, one of the key advocates for legislation providing a fairer representation of women in law-making bodies, called the passage of the quota Bill in Parliament a major step in ensuring stronger and more significant participation of women in the country’s political process.
However, she has also alleged that the Women’s Reservation Bill passed in Parliament is like a post-dated cheque, with no clarity on when it is going to be implemented and criticised the non-provision of a sub-quota for OBC women.
“So, it’s a very clear sign and signal to the women of this country that passing the Women’s Reservation Bill is like giving a post-dated cheque. We have signed the cheque. The amount is written but we do not know when you can cash it. There is no point or purpose to this whole exercise. It just looks like tokenism to me”, she told PTI video service in an interview on September 28.