Union Cabinet Approves Women’s Reservation Bill

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May 6 – Late last evening, India's Union Cabinet cleared the contentious Women’s Reservation Bill in its original form for introduction in the Rajya Sabha (council for states). The women’s bill seeks to reserve one third seats for women in the Lok Sabha (people's council) and the state assemblies and is one of the last major commitments of the Congress-led UPA’s common minimum program, reported the Hindustan Times. Once introduced, the constitutional amendment bill would be routed to the standing committee to help hammer out a consensus on it.

The government decided to bring the bill in the Rajya Sabha to ensure its longevity. Unlike the fate of draft legislations in Lok Sabha, which lapse with its dissolution, those in Rajya Sabha survive as it is a permanent chamber. Since 1996, the bill has been introduced with difficulty thrice in the Lok Sabha and has, each time, lapsed with dissolution of the House.