Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh addresses a press conference, at AICC Headquarter in New Delhi. (IANS File Photo)
New Delhi, September 17 (IANS): Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's highest decision making body, has demanded that the Women’s Reservation Bill should be passed during the special session of Parliament. The CWC, on the first day of a two-day meeting in Hyderabad, in its resolution has mentioned about the passage of the Bill in the special session scheduled from September 18 to 22.
In a tweet on X, Ramesh, who is also party's communication in-charge, said, "The Congress Working Committee has demanded that the Women’s Reservation Bill must be passed during the Special Session of Parliament."
He also highlighted some facts on the issue and said Rajiv Gandhi first introduced Constitution Amendment Bills for one-third reservation in panchayats and nagarpalikas in May1989. It passed in the Lok Sabha but failed in the Rajya Sabha in September 1989.
He also said that then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao reintroduced the Constitution Amendment Bills for one-third reservation for women in panchayats and nagarpalikas in April 1993. Both Bills were passed and became law.
"Now there are more than 15 lakh elected women representatives in panchayats and nagarpalikas. This comes to about 40 per cent," he said.
"As Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh brought Constitution Amendment Bill for one-third reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures. Bill passed on March 9, 2010 in the Rajya Sabha. But it was not taken up in Lok Sabha. Bills introduced or passed in Rajya Sabha do not lapse. Women's Reservation Bill is still very much active.
"The Congress party has for the past nine years been demanding that the Women's Reservation Bill already passed by the Rajya Sabha should now get passed by the Lok Sabha as well," the Rajya Sabha MP added.
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government then reintroduced the legislation, officially known as the Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, in 2008.
The legislation was passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2010, but it could not be passed in the Lok Sabha and it lapsed following its dissolution in 2014.