After clearing Lok Sabha, 'historic' women's quota bill tabled in Rajya Sabha

The bill, however, has not been mentioned in the revised list of business for the day

PTI09_20_2023_000326B BJP MP Riti Pathak and other women MPs show victory signs after the Women's Reservation Bill was passed in Lok Sabha during the Special session of Parliament | PTI

A day after it cleared the Lok Sabha with 454 votes in its favour, the Narishakti Vandan Adhiniyam bill, seeking reservation of 33 per cent seats for women in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies, was tabled in Rajya Sabha on Thursday. 

The legislation is likely to glide through the Rajya Sabha just like it did in the lower house on Wednesday. As many as 454 MPs voted in favour of the bill while only two members voted against it. 

Interestingly, the reception it got in Lok Sabha on Wednesday was not the same as it did in 2010. 

The bill was tabled in Rajya Sabha for the first time in 2010. The then UPA government, led by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had included it in its Common Minimum Programme and finally tabled it in the Upper House on March 9, 2010. The Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha, but not without commotion. 

When presented in Rajya Sabha then, it was vehemently opposed by regional parties, including RJD, SP and BSP. JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav was also a known vocal opponent of the bill, stating that he would "consume poison in the House if it was passed in its present form."  Such was the opposition that seven MPs from the SP, RJD and LJP had to be removed from the Rajya Sabha by marshalls. 

However, it was never taken up for consideration in the Lok Sabha and eventually lapsed in 2014 with the dissolution of the lower house. 

This time, however, the SP, BSP and RJD are supporters of the bill. 

After the passage of the bill, Prime Minister Modi said he was delighted at the passage of the bill with such phenomenal support. "I thank MPs across Party lines who voted in support of this Bill. The Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam is a historic legislation which will further boost women empowerment and will enable even greater participation of women in our political process," he posted on X.

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