They added that it is unlikely to be implemented in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. It will be rolled out only after the delimitation process is over, most probably in 2029, sources said.“The Bill will be brought in the ongoing session but there are many ifs and buts…so the implementation is unlikely before the next Lok Sabha election. Most probably, it will take place only after the delimitation (which is expected to be held in 2026) but the process will begin soon,” said a top source familiar with the developments.Incidentally, the promise of women reservation in the legislature figured in the BJP’s manifesto in both 2014 and 2019.Although the government made no official announcement, Minister of State and senior BJP leader Prahlad Patel congratulated Modi for clearing the Bill in a tweet that he later deleted.“Only the Modi government had the moral courage to fulfil the demand for women’s reservation which was proved by the approval of the cabinet. Congratulations Narendra Modi ji and congratulations to the Modi government,” the minister said. Patel is the Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jal Shakti.Earlier, ahead of the first day of the special session, Modi indicated that the session is significant as it “holds great importance in terms of historic decisions.”Later, there was a flurry of activity in the top leadership of the ruling party. After a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah in his office in Parliament House, Leader of the Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi went to meet the Prime Minister. Later, the leaders also met BJP president J P Nadda. There was another meeting of senior ministers and some leaders with Nadda after the Cabinet meeting too. Sources said the leaders, including Modi, are also likely to meet a few MPs on Tuesday.Ever since the government sprang a surprise by announcing the special session just over a month after the Monsoon Session had ended, without specifying its agenda, the buzz over the women’s Bill has been intense.Sources had indicated that a major move by the Government would push the Opposition on the backfoot and expose its divide within. While most parties in the INDIA bloc are in favour of women’s reservation, the Samajwadi Party and the RJD want “quota within the quota”, or caste and community-based quotas within the 33% quota.The move comes when the number of women candidates contesting Lok Sabha elections has slowly and steadily increased: from just 45 in the second Lok Sabha elections of 1957 to 726 in 2019.Their share among MPs has not seen a similar increase.In the first Lok Sabha elections held in 1951, only 22 women MPs (4.41%) were elected out of 489 seats. The figure of 78 women MPs for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is the highest ever (14.36%).
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