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New Delhi, Sep 30: The Women’s Reservation Bill, which was recently signed into law after the President’s assent, is expected to come into effect after the upcoming census and delimitation process. This means that women’s reservation is unlikely to be implemented during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Soon after its passage during a special session of Parliament, the Women’s Reservation Bill received the formal assent of President Draupadi Murmu. In a historic vote, the bill got approval from 454 members. The primary objective of the Bill is to allocate one-third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies of States and Union Territories (UTs) for women.
According to a Law Ministry notification issued recently on Friday, the President gave his assent last Thursday. As a result, it is now officially recognized as the Constitution (106th Amendment) Act. According to its provisions, “It shall come into force on such date as may be prescribed by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette.”
The law in effect now is expected to be implemented after the fresh census and delimitation process. This indicates that women’s reservations may not be implemented in time for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Home Minister Amit Shah has confirmed that the census and delimitation process will begin immediately after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, hinting at the possibility of women’s reservation coming into effect after the 2029 Lok Sabha elections.
While opposition parties largely supported the bill, they raised concerns over the delay in its implementation. Senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi also advocated the inclusion of sub-quota for SC, ST, and OBC within the caste-based census and women quota bill. She asserted, “Indian women have the patience of the ocean and have worked tirelessly for the well-being of all like a river. Any delay in implementing the Women’s Reservation Bill would be a grave injustice to Indian women.”