‘Historic achievement, congrats’: Women's reservation bill passed in Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said it's a coincidence that today is PM Modi's birthday according to Hindu calendar.
In a historic move, the Rajya Sabha on Thursday unanimously passed the women's reservation bill after an 11-hour debate. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Now 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and in the state assemblies will become a law and will be implemented after census and delimitation, a point that the Opposition questioned. In the Lok Sabha, only two MPs from the AIMIM opposed the bill. There was no abstention in the Rajya Sabha during the voting for the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam bill.
This is the first bill to have been passed in the new Parliament building. After the bill was cleared by the Upper House, Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar congratulated the members and said it is a historic achievement. “Historic achievement, congratulations. It is also a coincidence that today is PM Modi's birthday by Hindu calendar,” Dhankhar said after the bill was passed.
Ahead of the voting, PM Modi spoke in the Rajya Sabha on the bill and said this bill will lead to a new confidence in the people of the country.
PM Modi congratulated after the bill cleared the Rajya Sabha hurdle and called it a ‘defining moment’ in India's history. “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,” PM Modi tweeted.
“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 added.
On Thursday, Nirmala Sitharaman talked about the bill and called it long overdue. On why the government has convened a special session of Parliament, Sitharaman said, "We have come into a new complex, new building for Parliament, new India. We would like this Parliament to deal with one of the best bills that it can deal with." "What this bill provides for is reservation of seats for women in Lok Sabha. I have heard some members saying that reservation should also be given in the Upper House (Rajya Sabha). With the indirect election process and the way in which preferences (are) shown in the voting, it's just not going to be possible to do any reservation," Sitharaman said.
Mallikarjun Kharge in his intervention questioned the delay in the implementation of the bill and asked why PM Modi can't do it right now while he can ban notes overnight. As Kharge doubted the implementation of the bill following census and delimitation, Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said, "Modi hai toh mumkin hai...do not doubt."
What's next for Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam bill?
Passed in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the bill will now go to the President for consent. And then 33% reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies will become official.