Understanding Mayawati’s Stand on the Women Reservation Bill
In a fiery debate in the Lok Sabha over the Women Reservation Bill, Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) supremo, Mayawati, took the stage for a press conference. She raised her concerns about the government’s proposed bill, highlighting some flaws and demanding certain amendments. Mayawati stated, “There should be a separate quota for women from the SC/ST/OBC categories. Failure to do so will result in injustice to these groups.”
Mayawati also emphasized that the current bill contains provisions that she does not agree with. It may require a census to address these concerns, which could take considerable time. In the meantime, it might take 15-16 years for Indian women to benefit from this bill. Mayawati urged the government to make provisions that would expedite the bill’s benefits for women. The government’s intent behind this amendment is not entirely clear, and therefore, Mayawati proposed that the government should make separate arrangements in Parliament for the reservation of SC/ST women.
Let’s delve deeper into what this bill entails:
1. Bill Name – “128th Constitution Amendment Bill, 2023”
The bill, often referred to as the Women Reservation Bill, holds the official title of the “128th Constitution Amendment Bill, 2023.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given it the name “Nari Shakti Vandana Bill.”
2. Reservation Across All State Assemblies and Lok Sabha
The bill proposes that one-third of the seats in all State Assemblies and the Lok Sabha, including Delhi, should be reserved for women. In practical terms, this means that out of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha, 181 will be reserved exclusively for women. This change implies that only female candidates will contest elections in these 181 constituencies.
3. Special Provisions for SC-ST Communities
The bill also addresses the reservation of seats for SC and ST categories. For SC seats, which were previously reserved, 33% will now be allocated to women. Similarly, in ST reserved seats, 33% will now be designated for women. This ensures that women from marginalized communities have a fair share of political representation.
4. Legislative Process
The Women Reservation Bill will first need to pass through the Lok Sabha before proceeding to the Rajya Sabha. Once approved by both houses of Parliament, it will require the President’s consent. Finally, the bill will be published in the Indian Gazette, officially amending the Constitution.
Mayawati’s concerns and demands have sparked a significant debate within the political sphere. While the bill aims to empower women by providing them with greater political representation, it is essential to address the specific needs and reservations of marginalized communities, as highlighted by Mayawati.
In conclusion, the Women Reservation Bill, if passed, could be a significant milestone in India’s journey towards gender equality in politics. However, the concerns raised by Mayawati underscore the importance of thoughtful and inclusive legislation that ensures the interests of all women, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are adequately represented.