The schemes of the government, for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes (ST), Scheduled Caste (SC), Minorities and Other Backward Classes (OBC), have not been taken into consideration in their case.
With 454 votes ‘for’ and 2 ‘against’, the women’s reservation Bill cleared its first legislative hurdle with a brute majority in the Lok Sabha. However, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MP Asaduddin Owaisi, who voted against the motion seeking the Bill’s passage, along with party colleague Imtiaz Jaleel, defended their opposition to the draft legislation saying that it does not provide for a sub-quota for Muslim and Other Backward Classes (OBC) women.
Speaking to ANI after the landmark passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha, Owaisi said, “We voted against it so that the country knows that there are two members of Parliament, who are fighting for the inclusion of OBC and Muslim in the quota ambit.”
Explaining his rationale for voting against the motion for the passage of the women’s reservation Bill, AIMIM chief said, “OBC people account for more than 50 per cent of the country’s population. The idea behind this Bill is to provide for those women, who are not adequately represented in the Parliament and other legislative bodies. Why is the government then denying reservation to women from a community, which makes up more than 50 per cent of our population?”
On the alleged denial of reservation for Muslim women, Owaisi said, “Muslim women account for 7 per cent of the national population but their representation in our legislative bodies, including the Parliament, is just 0.7%”
Earlier, on Wednesday, the Lok Sabha passed the draft women’s reservation legislation, which provides for 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies. The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, was passed after a reply to the motion by Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal.
The Bill was passed following division, with 454 members voting in favour of the legislation and two against it on the motion for the passage moved by Meghwal.
Individual clauses of the Bill were also voted on.
Speaker Om Birla announced that the Bill had been passed.
The ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ is the first Bill passed by Lok Sabha after it shifted to the new Parliament building on Tuesday.