14 years after the first attempt was made in the Lok Sabha and repeated failures subsequently, the Constitution
amendment bill was adopted in the mandatory division with 186 members voting for it and one voting against.
In the 245-member House with an effective strength of 233, the bill required the backing of at least 155 members and the UPA had the clear support of 165 in the run up to the
The bill seeks to reserve for women 181 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha and 1,370 out of a total of 4,109
seats in the 28 State Assemblies.
Ruling UPA constituent Trinamool Congress, which has two members, kept away from voting, while 15-member BSP, which has opposed the bill in its present form, walked out before voting.
JD(U), whose present Sharad Yadav is a staunch opponent of the bill, appears to have backed the bill fully with most of its 7 members voting for it in response to the call by one
of its senior leaders and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Prime Minister called the bill as historic and assured the members that it is not against SC, ST and minorities.
He also expressed profound apology to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari for disrespect shown to Chair by members in the House over the past two days.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi further said it is a great step for empowerment of women
Stating that the bill was a dream of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Ms Gandhi expressed confidence about the stability of the UPA government despite withdrawal of support by the RJD and SP on the women reservation issue.
However, she wished that former allies like SP and RJD were with the government on the historic women’s reservation bill.