The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet on Monday granted its approval for the Women’s Reservation Bill, sources confirmed to ABP News. This significant development after a meeting chaired by PM Modi, which took place following the first sitting of Parliament’s five-day special session. The session was heralded earlier in the day by the Prime Minister, who promised “historic decisions.” The Women’s Reservation Bill proposes the reservation of 33 percent, or one-third, of all seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women.
Additionally, the bill suggests sub-reservations for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Anglo-Indians within the 33 percent quota. The bill further proposes that reserved seats should be rotated after each general election.
The Cabinet meeting which was scheduled for 6:30 pm went on for more than 90 minutes.
“Only the Modi government had the moral courage to fulfill the demand for women’s reservation. Which was proved by the approval of the cabinet. Congratulations PM Narendra Modi and congratulations to the PM Modi government,” Union Minister of State Prahlad Singh Patel posted on X, but deleted the post later.
Patel is the Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jal Shakti.
Tamil Nadu BJP leader and actress Kushboo Sundar lauded the move as a “historic moment” and wrote, “What a historical moment!! Women reservation bill cleared! Where our PM @narendramodi ji is working for women empowerment, others keep bringing women down. Nari shakti is the way forward. Women have to be in the forefront, they are the back bone of our nation.”
“Only a true son of the nation understands the pain of a woman. And our H’ble PM proves that yet again. Heartfelt thank you to Pradhan Mantri ji. Women of our nation our indebted to you for always standing by her and allowing her to grow and fly high,” she added thanking PM Modi.
The Women’s Reservation Bill could be presented in Parliament on September 20, Wednesday, sources said. There is also the possibility of Prime Minister Modi addressing a large gathering of women either on Wednesday (September 20) or a day thereafter, possibly in Delhi or a city in Rajasthan. Sources have indicated that this entire program is currently confidential.
Thousands of women from areas surrounding Delhi may converge to express their gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi upon the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill. According to sources, MPs have been entrusted with the responsibility of bringing women from parliamentary constituencies near Delhi.
Before the Cabinet meeting, PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah convened with various ministers in a meeting held in the office of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi. Present in this assembly were prominent ministers such as Dharmendra Pradhan, Bhupender Yadav, Anurag Thakur, Arjun Ram Meghwal, and V. Muraleedharan.
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Demands For Women’s Reservation Bill In All-Party Meeting
On the eve of the special session, various political parties, both from the ruling NDA and the opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc, vociferously advocated for the passage of the women’s reservation bill. The government assured parliamentarians during an all-party meeting that an appropriate decision would be made at the right time. In the same meeting, the government formally announced its intention to relocate to the new Parliament building on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.
While the Congress and its leader, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, pressed for discussions on issues such as caste census, inflation, unemployment, the border dispute with China, the situation in Manipur, and alleged social conflicts, the resounding call for legislating reserved seats for women in elected bodies stood out. BJP ally and NCP leader Praful Patel, along with the Congress, its allies, and unaligned parties like the BRS, TDP, and BJD, urged the government to make history on this momentous occasion. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) highlighted the substantial representation of women MPs in West Bengal’s ruling party, lending its support to the bill, news agency PTI reported.
As Parliament moves to its new building, BJD MP Pinaki Misra proclaimed the dawn of a new era and emphasised the significance of ensuring women’s reservation, citing Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s long-standing support for the idea. Praful Patel expressed optimism about the bill’s passage with consensus. Meanwhile, regional parties like the RJD and the Samajwadi Party advocated for quotas for backward castes, SCs, and STs within any women’s reservation legislation.
When asked about this demand, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi downplayed it, citing the common occurrence of parties making various demands during all-party meetings. He stated, “The government will take an appropriate decision at an appropriate time”, as quoted by PTI.
It’s worth noting that a similar bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2010, reserving one-third of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. However, it was never taken up in the Lok Sabha and lapsed with the dissolution of the Lower House.