The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday voted to amend the Constitution to reserve one-third of seats in Parliament and the State Assemblies for women. The Women’s Reservation Bill known as the 108th Constitutional Amendment, must now be passed by the Lok Sabha and ratified by at least half the States for becoming effective.
The Upper House recorded its vote of 191 for and 1 against. at Sharad Joshi (Swatanatra Bharat Paksh) was the lone member who voted against.
After Monday’s scenes of chaos in the House, nothing was left to chance. Marshals ringed the Chair and the official table, the target of attacks by dissenting members , seven of whom were physically evicted. These included four from Samajwadi Party (SP) and one each from the Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP). Earlier, the House voted to suspend them for the remainder of the session for their behaviour on Monday.
The Bahujan Samaj Party walked out before voting, disagreeing with the current Bill, while the SP and RJD members went out after discussions, demanding revocation of their party colleagues’ suspension.