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Rajya Sabha takes up Women’s Reservation Bill; over seven hours of discussions slated

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A landmark bill to reserve a third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

The 128th Constitution Amendment Bill, which was approved by a two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, was introduced in the Upper House by Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal.

Rajya Sabha will have a seven-and-a-half-hour window to discuss the bill. The legislation is widely expected to get approval from the Upper House.

It will then require the approval of a majority of state assemblies. It will be implemented after a delimitation exercise based on Census data is completed.

This is the seventh attempt since 1996 to get the Women’s Reservation Bill passed.

Women presently make up nearly half of India’s 95 crore registered voters but comprise only 15 per cent of lawmakers in Parliament and 10 per cent in state assemblies.

The 33 per cent reservation for women will not apply to the upper house of Parliament and state legislatures.

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