The women’s reservation bill — one of the most ambitious and long-pending legislation of the UPA government —is set to lapse as the logjam between the UPA and the opposition ails the current Parliament session.
Although the bill was passed in Rajya Sabha in March 2010, the law states that if the Lower House is unable to pass it, it will lapse with the end of the current Lok Sabha. Simply put — the next government will have to start from the scratch if it wants to reserve one-third seats for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
Ironically, three previous bills on women reservation had also lapsed.
Chaksu Rai of PRS Legislative Research pointed out, “In 2009, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill had lapsed in this manner.”
In the case of this bill failing to pass in the current session, the Congress would be dealt with a setback on having lost out on the dream of late Prime Minister Ravij Gandhi, who wanted more representation of women in the government. The same has been the aspiration of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, the latter making women empowerment as one of his core agenda.