The two national parties namely BJP and Congress may be inching towards a consensus for the women's reservation bill to capitise the vast vote bank for General Election 2024. The history of the women's reservation bill which guarantees a 33 percent quota for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies, reportedly approved by the union cabinet last evening, highlights the fissures within the INDIA alliance of opposition parties. Sources say the bill will be introduced in the Lok Sabha during the special session of the parliament that began yesterday, and the ruling BJP has asked its women MPs to be present in the house when it is taken up for consideration and put to a vote.
While Congress and left parties support the bill, prominent constituents like Lalu Yadav's RJD, and Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party have always been opposed to it in its current form. They have fiercely opposed the bill, demanding a quota for women from backward classes within the 33 percent quota.
Nitish Kumar's JD(U), which opposed the bill earlier, came around and supported it in 2010, threatening a split in the party with Nitish Kumar at loggerheads with then-party president Sharad Yadav. JD(U) had joined Congress and several other regional parties in demanding that the PM introduce it in the special session.
Bills introduced or passed in the Rajya Sabha do not lapse, hence the Women's Reservation Bill is still active. It proposes that one-third of the seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will be reserved for women from those groups. These reserved seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in the state or union territory.
BJP is hopeful that the bill in its current form will lead to a decisive victory in the upcoming parliament election.