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Sonia Gandhi To Be Lead Congress Speaker For Debate On Womens Reservation Bill: Sources

NEW DELHI: Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will most likely be the lead speaker of Congress for the debate on Women’s Reservation Bill in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, said sources. It may be noted that the Lok Sabha will take up the Women’s Reservation Bill for a discussion on Wednesday when the House convenes again at 11 AM. The Women’s Reservation Bill that seeks to provide a 33 per cent quota for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies was introduced in the Lok Sabha in the ongoing special session of Parliament on Tuesday.

However, the Congress party is currently locked in a fierce war of words with the ruling BJP over credit for bringing the bill on women’s reservation in Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies. The Women’s Reservation Bill has sparked outrage in the Opposition ranks. The Congress has dubbed it as an “election jumla” and flagged the need to publish the 2021 census before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Party leaders asserted that it would take several years for the reservation to come into effect even as LoP Malliarjun Kharge noted that a similar bill had come close to passing in 2010.

Reacting to the bill, Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday said, “What about it? It’s ours. Apna hain.” She made these remarks while entering the Parliament for a historic joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as both houses convene their first session in the newly inaugurated Parliament building.  



According to sources, the Union Cabinet on Monday cleared the Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve a 33 per cent quota in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies. According to official sources, the Union Cabinet cleared the Women’s Reservation Bill (WRB) in a key meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Referring to the issue, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “We want the Women’s Reservation Bill to be brought and passed as soon as possible. The demand for the Women’s Reservation Bill was initiated by UPA and our leader Sonia Gandhi. It took so long, but we will be happy if this is introduced.”

Earlier on Monday, the Congress General Secretary in charge of Communications Jairam Ramesh said that the party has been demanding the implementation of the Constitution 108th Amendment Bill, 2008 bill for a long time.

“The Congress party has been demanding the implementation of women’s reservation for a long time. We welcome the Union Cabinet decision reportedly coming forward and look forward to the details of the Bill,” he said in a post on X.

He further added that this could have been thoroughly discussed in the all-party meeting before the special session and a consensus could have been reached instead of behind-the-scenes politics. The allocation of reserved seats shall be determined by such authority as prescribed by Parliament.

One-third of the total number of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall be reserved for women of those groups in the Lok Sabha and the legislative assemblies. Reservation of seats for women shall cease to exist 15 years after the commencement of this Amendment Act.

In 2008, the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government tabled the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, and it was passed in 2010. However, the Bill was never taken up for consideration in the Lok Sabha.

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