Will Parliament Pass Women’s Quota Bill In Spl Session? PM Drops Hint, BJD Reiterates Demand

Bhubaneswar: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking on participation of women in legislative process of the country, speculations are rife that the Women’s Reservation Bill will be passed in the special session of the Parliament.

Speaking in Lok Sabha on the first day of the special session on Monday, the Prime Minister dropped a huge hint on the possibility of the Bill being passed in the new Parliament building where the rest of the session would continue from Tuesday.

The Prime Minister said the elected women MPs and MLAs have made immense contribution to the democratic process in the country. “This session will be remembered historically. Initially, there were few elected women members in the Parliament. But over the years, their representation has a substantial and steady rise. More than 7,500 women leaders have been elected to both Houses of the Parliament since the beginning of parliamentary democracy in the country,” he said.

The Bill holds much significance for Odisha as the ruling BJD in the state has been demanding it to be passed to strengthen participation of women in the law-making process.

On the last working day of the present Parliament Building, BJD Rajya Sabha member Sasmit Patra demanded that Women’s Reservation Bill to be the first Bill to be passed in the new Parliament building.

Participating in a discussion on “Parliamentary Jurney of 75 Years”, Patra said, “This Parliament has passed many important bills that have contributed to development of the country in the last 75 years. But one task has remained incomplete and that’s the Women’s Reservation Bill. Had this Bill been passed in this House, we would have felt proud that our task has been completed.”

However, Patra hoped that when the country will see a new beginning with Parliament shifting to the new building on Tuesday, the Women’s Reservation Bill should be the first bill to be passed there.

It may be noted that the Bill proposes reservation of 33% of seats in Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies for women. It includes a quota-within-quota for SCs, STs, and Anglo-Indians. It also provides for rotation  of reserved seats after each general election, ensuring that all constituencies are eventually reserved.

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