New Delhi: Amid frenzied speculations within political circles since Monday morning and incessant demands from MPs across party lines, seeking passage of women’s reservation bill in Lok Sabha, the Union Cabinet is learnt to have given its consent to the much awaited legislation.
There is a likelihood that a few other key legislations may also have been reportedly cleared by the Union Cabinet.
Many opposition leaders have been questioning the real intent of the government in convening a special session of Parliament just a month after the monsoon session had ended. As several government functionaries remained tight-lipped over the agenda of the cabinet meeting, unconfirmed reports claimed that the bill had been passed.
The Union Cabinet had met on Monday evening, and its meeting lasted for a couple of hours.
The bill ensures reservation of 33 per cent seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislative Assemblies.
In May 2008, the women’s reservation bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha and was referred to a standing committee. It was passed in the upper house in 2010 and then it was sent to Lok Sabha. However it could not be passed and lapsed with the 15th Lok Sabha.
Speculations were rife since Monday morning about the bill, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing the media outside Parliament before the commencement of the special session, had said that “the special session of Parliament might be a short one, but it holds great importance in terms of historical decisions”.
During the discussions on 75 years of Parliament earlier in the day, Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, NCP’s Supriya Sule and many other lawmakers sought passage of the women’s reservation bill during the special session.
On Sunday, the Congress had passed a resolution in the CWC meeting that the women’s reservation bill should be passed in the upcoming special session.
Meanwhile prior to the cabinet meeting, a series of meetings took place among the BJP leaders. Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Pralhad Joshi met Home Minister Amit Shah. BJP chief J.P. Nadda was also present in the meeting.