Based on an April 2000 report published in the Times of India, Narendra Modi, who was serving as the BJP’s general secretary at the time, advocated for political parties to collaborate and agree to field a minimum quota of women representatives in both the lower house and state legislatures. He proposed this approach as an interim measure until a bill reserving 33 percent of seats for women could be successfully passed in Parliament. PM Modi voiced his backing for the Chief Election Commission’s (CEC) suggestion to withdraw recognition from parties that failed to comply with this guideline, the report stated.
In light of criticism from the Congress party regarding the women’s reservation bill, Union Minister Som Parkash emphasized on Tuesday that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unwavering determination that led to the bill’s passage in both houses of Parliament the previous week.
The Congress had raised questions about why the bill was not being implemented for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and suggested that the BJP government’s introduction of the women’s reservation bill was a politically motivated move and a mere ‘jumla’ (empty promise).
During an event, Union Minister Parkash stated, “The Women’s Reservation Bill was passed on the first day in the new Parliament, marking a historic moment. All parties supported the bill, and there is nothing left to criticize.”
The Minister of State for Commerce and Industry underscored that the bill had been pending for a considerable time and was finally passed due to Prime Minister Modi’s strong determination.
The bill, which aims to reserve one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women, received parliamentary approval last Thursday, with both houses voting in its favor.
Referred to as the 128th Constitution Amendment Bill, also known as the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, it will now require the approval of a majority of state assemblies. Implementation will follow a delimitation exercise to redraw parliamentary and assembly constituencies, based on a census slated to be conducted next year.
The Congress party characterized the women’s reservation bill as the ‘biggest jumla’ of the BJP government in the last nine years and expressed uncertainty about its implementation. Congress National Spokesperson Shama Mohamed stated that it was unclear when the bill would be put into action.
Responding to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks questioning the connection between women’s reservation, the census, and delimitation, Union Minister Som Parkash dismissed them, stating that delimitation and the census were constitutionally mandated steps that would precede the bill’s implementation.
Parkash congratulated the government and all the parties that supported the bill, describing women’s reservation as a historic step for women’s empowerment.
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