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Union Cabinet okays women's reservation Bill

Cabinet meeting spiked political interest as PM Modi had commented today that ‘historic decisions’ will be taken in special session of Parliament

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Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, September 18

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday okayed abill to ensure reservation of 33 per cent seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies, sources said.

The government, however, did not announce it as the customary briefing after the Cabinet meeting was not conducted.

The Cabinet meeting had spiked political interest as Modi had commented today that “historic decisions” will be taken in this special session of Parliament – September 18 to September 22.

Earlier in the day, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi had met Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda, further making it clear that something path breaking was expected.

The women reservation bill that was first tabled in 2008 has been on freeze since it was passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2010. It had not been presented in the Lok Sabha in these 14 years. A bill passed by the Rajya Sabha does not lapse under rules of the business of the Parliament.

The BJP and the Congress have always supported the bill. There were hurdles in form of opposition by other parties and demands for quota for backward classes within the women’s quota.

Ahead of Parliament session, leaders from the Opposition had pushed for women’s reservation. So did the Ajit Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party. The parties had made a strong push for it at the all-party meeting held on Sunday.

Since the special session of Parliament was announced, the opposition parties, political observers, and citizens were wondering if the government was planning some big decisions. Among the estimates is that the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) or One Nation One Election could be on the agenda. The buzz around the usage of ‘Bharat’ in the President’s dinner invite to G20 delegates also sparked reports about the government planning to bring a resolution to change the name of the country.

The government has already listed crucial bills to be discussed during the special session of Parliament which include the contentious Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023. The other listed business for Lok Sabha includes ‘The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023’ and ‘The Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023’, already passed by Rajya Sabha on 3 August 2023. But, the list of businesses is tentative and more items can be added.

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#Lok Sabha #Narendra Modi

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