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1-min read

Narendra Modi Government Mulling to Clear Women's Reservation Bill Next?

The bill was cleared by the Rajya Sabha in 2010 during the UPA regime. As part of a larger outreach to women, the Congress had projected it as a victory for its President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Pallavi Ghosh | CNN-News18_pallavighosh

Updated:September 19, 2017, 1:33 PM IST
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Narendra Modi Government Mulling to Clear Women's Reservation Bill Next?
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. (PTI)

New Delhi: In what is being seen as an attempt to send a strong message on women empowerment just ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the central government is actively mulling the possibility of passing the Women's Reservation Bill at the Parliament.

The bill was cleared by the Rajya Sabha in 2010 during the UPA regime. As part of a larger outreach to women, the Congress had projected it as a victory for its President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

The Manmohan Singh government, however, could not get the Bill passed in the Lok Sabha in the face of stiff opposition from allies like Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and even Trinamool Congress.

In fact some Congress MPs too were opposed to the Bill.

The Bill, however, did not lapse after the UPA government demitted office in 2014 as the legislation was introduced and cleared by the Rajya Sabha, which is a permanent house.

The Bill has been pending before Parliament since then and now sources have told News18 that the Modi government wishes to bring it back.

It would be the second piece of high impact legislation after GST, another unfinished agenda of the UPA government. While GST was seen as a landmark statute to bring about tax reforms, the women’s bill will reserve one-third of the seats in state legislatures and Parliament for women.

The PM has made it clear on many platforms that women’s empowerment politically and economically, is his priority. The push to ban triple talaq was seen as part of this political message. Ujwala Scheme, zero balance accounts, ease of opening bank accounts for women and cash transfers instead of ration, is being seen as an attempt to build a narrative to carve out a constituency in a patriarchal setup.

Sources have told News18 that government has already begun backroom consultations on this issue.

The first unsuccessful bid to clear the Bill was made in 1996. The Bill has however lapsed each time. The Vajpayee government tried to clear the Bill in 1998, but was repeatedly unsuccessful and blamed the Congress for this.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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