The Women's Reservation Bill, or the 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam', which proposes to reserve 33 percent of the seats in Lok Sabha and state legislative Assemblies for women, was tabled in the Lower House of Parliament on Tuesday, 19 September.
After the Bill was introduced, PM Narendra Modi said in the Parliament,
"Today, on this historic event in the new Parliament, the first order of business of the House is to appeal for this new change. We are opening doors for the country's women with this initiative. The 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam' will ensure more women become members of Parliament, assemblies."
Congress has called out the bill, saying that it is a "huge betrayal of the hopes of crores of Indian women."
Here's what Opposition leaders are saying:
'Vague Promise,' Says Jairam Ramesh
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the government is just making a 'vague promise.'
He asked, "The reservation for women will come into effect only following the first decadal Census conducted AFTER the Women’s Reservation Bill has become an Act. When will this Census take place? The Bill also says the reservation come into effect only after the publication of the next Census and the subsequent delimitation exercise thereafter. Will the Census and delimitation be done before the 2024 elections?"
'Political Gimmick By BJP': Prakash Ambedkar
Former MP Prakash Ambedkar also took to X (formerly Twitter) to say that he had concerns about the Bill. He said:
"This “incomplete” Bill is an eye-wash. It is a political gimmick by the BJP aimed only to sell itself to the women only to exclude them in real sense."
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi too was quoted by news agency PTI as saying, "We have never been against women empowerment. However, if a law is being made, it is important that OBC and Muslim women get a share in that quota."
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said, "Let it come. We have implemented it here at the levels that were appropriate for us in the Panchayats and local bodies. We did it much before the government, much before 5 August, 2019. We have never opposed the process of reservation so that women get their rightful place in the decision-making of this country."
Commenting on the reservation Bill, Brinda Karat said: "This reservation bill had been promised by the BJP before the 2014 elections. This bill just ensures that women are going to be deprived till the next census, till the next delimitation exercise."