WOMEN’S RESERVATION BILL IN THE LIMELIGHT
It is a good augury that the once let- down Women's Reservation Bill which seeks to reserve one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies for women again came to the fore for reconsideration at the highest political echelons. This has been the case after the Congress President Sonia Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20th September, urging him to get the Women's Reservation Bill passed in the Lok Sabha.
The bill which also seeks to reserve one-third of seats for women belonging to SC & ST categories, provides an allocation by rotation to
Woman’s Era October (Second) 2017 different constituencies in the State or Union Territory. However, reservation for women shall cease to exist in 15 years after the commencement of this Amendment Act.
There are divergent opinions on this issue of women's reservation, in the wake of some opponents stressing the necessity of affirmative action to improve the condition of women vis- a- vis empowering them socially, economically and politically with a new impetus. The move has also been considered as a setback in its policy that diverts attention from the larger issues of electoral reform such as criminalisation of politics and inner-party democracy.
This might also pave the way for restricting the choice of voters to women candidates much against their wishes and reduce the incentive for an MP to work for his constit - uency as he may be ineligible to seek reelection from that constituency wherein there is dual competition between a woman and a male candidate.
Hence, in all eventuality, the present BJP government under Modi's dispensation must review the pros and cons of passing the women's reservation bill in the Lok Sabha. – Bh. Indu Sekhar, Hyderabad.