The chequered journey of Women's Reservation Bill
The controversial Women's Reservation Bill, introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, was brought for Parliamentary approval for the first time in September 1996.
Since then there were several failed attempts to get political consensus on the measure that provides for reservation of one-third of seats for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
The Bill has passed through the following stages in the last 12 years:
* Constitution (81st Amendment) Bill, 1996 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on September 12, 1996 by the H D Deve Gowda government.
* It was referred to the Joint Committee of Parliament.
* The Bill lapsed with the dissolution of the 11th Lok Sabha.
* Another attempt was made by introduction of Constitution of (84th Amendment) Bill, 1998 in the Lok Sabba on December 1998 by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
* It lapsed again with the dissolution of the 12th Lok Sabha.
* Yet another attempt was made on December 23, 1999 with the introduction of the Bill in the Lower House. But this bill also could not be pursued due to lack of political consensus.
* The present Bill has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha for the first time with the consequence that it will not lapse.