Union Cabinet Meets Amid Buzz Over Women’s Reservation Bill
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The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, convened in New Delhi on the evening of September 18. This meeting took place following the commencement of the special session of Parliament, and it has sparked speculations regarding the Women’s Reservation Bill. The ongoing session, scheduled in the new Parliament building from September 19, has heightened anticipation over the fate of this significant legislation.
Speculation and Secrecy Surrounding the Cabinet Meeting
The Union Cabinet’s session, lasting over 90 minutes, did not result in any formal announcements or official statements. However, it is widely understood that the Women’s Reservation Bill has received the Cabinet’s approval. This move has been praised as a significant step towards achieving gender equality in Indian politics.
Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel, while not present at the Cabinet meeting, lauded this decision, stating, “Only the Modi government had the moral courage to fulfill the demand for women’s reservation.” He expressed his congratulations to PM Narendra Modi and the government for this historic move.
Anticipation Building Up
Ever since the announcement of the Parliament session from September 18-22, there has been intense speculation regarding the bills that might be discussed. The Women’s Reservation Bill, in particular, has been a topic of keen interest. This legislation seeks to provide a 33% quota for women in both the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.
The last time a bill related to women’s reservation was passed was in March 2010 in the Rajya Sabha. In the lead-up to the special session, various opposition parties and NDA allies, including the NCP and NPP, had voiced their demand for the bill’s passage.
Prime Minister Modi’s Acknowledgment
During his speech in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Prime Minister Modi acknowledged the significant contributions of women MPs to Parliamentary democracy. He emphasized the growth in the number of women MPs over the years and commended their role.
Leaders from across the political spectrum have called for the introduction of the Women’s Reservation Bill. This united front highlights the importance of gender diversity in legislative bodies.
Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram expressed his party’s victory in a post, noting that if the government introduces the Women’s Reservation Bill, it will be a victory for the Congress and its UPA allies.
Congress communication chief Jairam Ramesh also welcomed this development and highlighted Rahul Gandhi’s past demand for the passage of the Women’s Bill.
Potential Divide Within the INDIA Bloc
While this move garners widespread support, it may create divisions within the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc. Parties like the Janata Dal United and Rashtriya Janata Dal have opposed previous versions of the bill, advocating for a quota within a quota for other backward classes.
In conclusion, the Union Cabinet’s approval of the Women’s Reservation Bill marks a significant step forward in promoting gender equality in Indian politics. With cross-party support and acknowledgment from the Prime Minister, it is poised to be a milestone moment in the ongoing Parliament session.
Source: The Hindu