The women’s reservation bill is one of the longest pending legislations in the Indian parliament. The bill promises 33 percent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and in all state legislative assemblies.
The bill also proposes that one-third of the seats from the reserved seats will be fixed for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled tribes. The reserved seats will be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in Lok Sabha.
Origin of the Women’s reservation bill
The idea of women’s reservation bill was originated after a constitutional amendment passed in 1993.
According to the constitutional amendment, one third of village council leader or Sarpanch positions in the Gram Panchayat should be reserved for women.
The women’s reservation bill was proposed to extend this reservation to Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies.
But a few people opposed the bill considering this as preferential treatment towards women.
The journey of the Women’s reservation bill
The bill was initially introduced in Lok Sabha on September 12, 1996 by the United Front Government of H D Devegowda.
Later, Vajpayee government tried to push the bill in Lok Sabha, but it still was not passed.
Once again, in May 2008, UPA-I government led by Congress introduced the bill in Lok Sabha.
After its re-introduction, on March 2010, the bill was finally passed by Rajya Sabha but was left pending in the Lok Sabha.
RJD led by Lalu Prasad Yadav and Samajvadi party were one of the vocal opponents of the women’s reservation bill.
Why is there opposition to the Bill?
Many political parties have opposed it because they fear that many of the male leaders may not get a chance to fight the elections if 33.3 percent is reserved for women. Some also argue that the bill will only help the women of elite groups and will favour those women with strong political background. Therefore, causing further discrimination to the poor and backward classes of the society.
The present scenario of the bill?
The bill is still pending in Lok Sabha and as of now there hasn’t been any major developments regarding the bill. The current government has majority in Lok Sabha and the bill will only be passed if the present government takes steps for its upliftment.