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Several women MPs across party lines set aside their differences to unequivocally call the passage of the women’s reservation Bill, aptly titled ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’, as historic.
As the women’s reservation bill cleared its final legislative hurdle at the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, BJP MP Diya Kumari thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying, “Women are celebrating today. We are very happy with the passage of this Bill. PM Modi has finally made this dream come true. This piece of legislation was the need of the hour and he (PM Modi) realised it. He spearheaded efforts to have the Bill tabled and passed in all of two days.”
Congress MP Joshimani, too, expressed her delight over the Bill’s passage, saying, “We are happy that this important piece of legislation is finally close to seeing the light of day.”
However, she flagged concerns over the implementation of the Bill, saying, “It is sad, however, that the law may not be implemented anytime soon.”
Another Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan termed the passage of the Bill as historic.
“The Bill has now been passed by both the Houses. This is a moment to savour for women in our country,” she said.
She added, however, “We demanded the Bill be implemented immediately with a sub-quota for OBC women. The demand wasn’t considered.”
The Upper House, on Thursday, passed the bill, which provides 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha as well as the state legislative assemblies, unanimously with 214 members voting in support and none against.
Also reacting to the passage of the Bill, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MP Mahua Maji said, “This is a historic moment for women. The government received bipartisan support for the Bill in both Houses of Parliament. The significant takeaway for me was that the members set aside their political differences to vote for the Bill.”
“We would have preferred an expeditious implementation of the Bill with the provision of a sub-quota for OBC women,” she added.
Following the passageof the bill in Parliament, chants of ‘Modi Modi’ were raised by women MPs as they took turns to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the passage of the draft legislation.
Women members from both Houses of Parliament, including PT Usha, and Union Ministers Meenakashi Lekhi and Smriti Irani, were all smiles as they presented a bouquet to Prime Minister Modi on the historic passage of the Bill in Parliament.
Later, both the Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die.
Earlier, on Wednesday, the Bill aced the legislative test in the Lok Sabha as it was passed by a brute majority of 454 votes in favour and just 2 against.
Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal gave a brief reply to the day-long debate on the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023 in the upper House of Parliament and said it will be implemented after following due process.
Ahead of the voting, PM Modi urged the Rajya Sabha members to pass the Bill unanimously.
He said the Bill will lead to a new confidence in the people of the country.
“All members and political parties have played a significant role in empowering women and enhancing ‘Nari Shakti’. Let us give the country a strong message,” he said.
The Rajya Sabha had earlier passed the Women’s Reservation Bill in 2010 during the Congress-led UPA government but it was not taken up in the Lok Sabha and subsequently lapsed in the lower House of Parliament.