Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi is set to lead her party's debate on the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, also known as the women's reservation bill, in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. This bill, introduced by Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal in the new Parliament building, proposes to reserve one-third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women.
Meghawal, while presenting the amendment, highlighted that the bill's implementation would increase the representation of women in the 543-member Lok Sabha from 82 to 181 members. Additionally, the bill outlines a 15-year reservation period and includes a one-third quota for women within the seats reserved for SC/ST candidates.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed strong support for the women's reservation bill, emphasizing the government's commitment to expanding women's participation in both parliament and state assemblies. He urged MPs from all parties to unanimously pass this historic legislation.
However, the Congress party has criticized the bill as an "election jhumla" (empty promise) and a "huge betrayal of hopes of women." They argued that the bill should only come into effect after the 2021 Census, and its current proposal falls short of addressing the expectations of millions of Indian women and girls.