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Indian government’s new bill proposes women’s reservation for 15 years, may roll out in 2029

 The women’s reservation bill has proposed that the reservation would continue for a period of 15 years and there will be quota for SC and STs within the reserved seats for women.

The legislation however is unlikely to be implemented in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, sources said.

It will be rolled out only after the delimitation process is over, most probably in 2029, they added.

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, was introduced in Lok Sabha in the supplementary list of business.

The reservation will come into effect after a delimitation exercise is undertaken and will continue for 15 years. Seats reserved for women will be rotated after each delimitation exercise, according to the bill.

The government said women participate substantively in panchayats and at municipal bodies, but their representation in State Assemblies, Parliament is still limited.

Women bring different perspectives and enrich quality of legislative debates and decision-making, it added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first speech in the new parliament building said that there had been several efforts to introduce women’s reservation bill in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies since 1996.

In 1998 and 1999, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had brought the bill, but his dream could not be fulfilled.

The last such attempt was made in 2010, when the Rajya Sabha had passed a bill for women’s reservation, but the same could not be passed in the Lok Sabha and it got lapsed.

Modi further said that Narishakti Vandan Adhiniyam will further strengthen Indian democracy.

He said that the union cabinet had decided to give a go-ahead to the reservation of women in Parliament bill.

“This historic day of 19th September 2023 is going to be immortalised in the history of India,” Modi said.

“Taking forward the resolution of women-led development, our government is today presenting a major Constitutional Amendment Bill. The purpose of this Bill is to expand the participation of women in Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas.”

He said that the Cabinet had decided to give a go-ahead to the Reservation of Women in Parliament Bill. This historic day of 19th September 2023 is going to be immortal in the history of India.

“Taking forward the resolution of women-led development, our government is today presenting a major Constitutional Amendment Bill. The purpose of this Bill is to expand the participation of women in Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas”

“I assure all the mothers, sisters and daughters of the nation that we are committed to making this bill into law.”

Bhawan (building) has changed, Bhav (feelings) should also change,” he said while hinting at the conduct of members in Parliament.

“All of us should follow the Lakshaman Rekha of parliamentary traditions,” he said, adding that though elections are far away, the conduct of members in the House will decide whether they will sit in the opposition or in the treasury benches.

“At the dawn of the Amrit Kaal, India is moving forward with a resolve for the future by heading into the new Parliament building,” he said in Lok Sabha.

“It is the time to accomplish the resolves and begin the new journey with renewed enthusiasm and energy,” Modi said.

Referring to the Sengol, which is stalled near the Speaker’s chair in the new Parliament building, Modi said that it “links us with a very important part of our past.”

He said that the sacred Sengol was touched by the first prime minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Later while speaking for the first time in the new Parliament, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the Sengol was only handed to Nehru at his residence by the priest of a Madras temple.

He added that former Lok Sabha Speakers like Meira Kumar and Sumitra Mahakan had also argued for a new Parliament building.

He read the Preamble of the Constitution and said that it clearly says that India is one and that the best should not be any discrimination on caste or religious lines.

“We should not spread confusion in the name of the country, whether it is India or Bharat,” Chowdhury said.

He also sought to know from the government why no deputy speaker had been appointed for the first time in the history of Independent India.

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