Two MPs, including Asaduddin Owaisi, opposed Women’s Reservation Bill in Lok Sabha, know who is second one

The Lok Sabha passed the bill with 454 votes in favour, and only 2 votes against the bill.

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Women’s Reservation Bill granting 33 per cent of seats to women in the lower house of Parliament and state legislative assemblies. The house passed the bill with 454 votes in favour, and only 2 votes against the bill.

The only two MPs who opposed the bill were AIMIM MPs Asaduddin Owaisi and Syed Imtiyaz Jaleel. Owaisi opposed the bill, saying it would provide reservation only to ‘savarna women’, and questioned why OBC and Muslim women who have even lesser representation in Parliament are not being given any quota.

“I oppose this legislation…. The justification that is being given for the bill is that more women will get elected to Parliament. If that is the justification, why that justification is not being extended to the OBC and Muslim women whose representation in this august House is minimal,” Owaisi said.

“We know Muslim women are seven per cent of the population, but in this Lok Sabha their representation stands at only 0.7 per cent,” he said. Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal introduced the Constitution amendment bill which seeks to reserve 33 per cent seats in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies for women in the Lower House of Parliament on Wednesday.

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According to the bill, it will come into effect after the delimitation of Lok Sabha constituencies which will be carried out after the completion of the next population census. Speaking on the bill, Owaisi said, “This Modi government wants to increase representation for savarna women. They don’t want representation for OBC women and Muslim women. There have been 690 women MPs elected to Lok Sabha and only 25 of them have come from the Muslim community.”

“I hear (that) reservation cannot be given on religious grounds? What is the 1950 presidential order? You are deceiving Muslim women by denying them quota within this reservation,” he said. The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order of 1950 recognised only Hindus as SCs. Amendments were done in 1956 and 1990 to include Sikh Dalits, and later Buddhist Dalits. Owaisi said Muslim women face dual discrimination and accused the ruling BJP of denying Muslim and OBC women their due share.

(With inputs from PTI)

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