Women’s Bill Pass in Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the historic Women’s Bill by division with 186 votes in favour, one against and no abstentions.

Earlier the House saw a discussion on the Women’s Reservation Bill after it was moved in the House for consideration and unruly scenes prevented the Bill being put to vote.

After three adjournments and suspension and eviction of seven disruptive members, the House took up the debate at 3 p.m. amid vociferous protests from members of the SP and the RJD, who were opposing the historic Bill and demanding withdrawal of the suspension order.

Before the discussion began, the House witnessed an unusual development wherein the Chairman put the Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill, granting 33 per cent reservation to women in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, to voice vote but later called for a debate on it.

Mr. Ansari put the Bill, moved on Monday for consideration, to voice vote as the suspended members, squatting in the well for three hours, refused to budge and continued to chant slogans to disrupt the proceedings.

But when the Chairman called for division of votes, members of BJP and Left parties, which are supporting the Bill, objected and wanted a debate.

Meanwhile, marshals were ordered eviction of the suspended members — Subhash Yadav (RJD), Sabir Ali (LJP), Veerpal Singh Yadav, Nand Kishore Yadav, Amir Alam Khan and Kamal Akhtar (all SP), and Ejaz Ali (Unattached), who had on Monday created unprecedented pandemonium.

Normalcy was restored in the House after their forcible eviction and the Bill was taken up for discussion.

Earlier in the day, the whip was cracked on the seven disruptive members as they were suspended for the remaining part of the Budget session.

The motion for their suspension was moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prithviraj Chavan and was passed by voice vote.

The action against members under Rule 256 was taken for showing total “disregard for dignity of Council and authority of the Chair” by obstructing the business of the House.

The rule under which the seven members were suspended does not allow any adjournment or debate.

After their suspension, the House was adjourned by Ansari till 2 PM, for the second time in the day. But, the suspended members squatted in the Well and refused to leave.

When the House re-assembled at 3 pm, the seven suspended members squatting in the well for three hours, stood up and started shouting slogans against the Bill.

Amid slogan shouting, Mr. Ansari took up the discussion on the Bill and asked Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley to speak.

But, Mr. Jaitley had to wait till the suspended members were evicted.

The members, joined by Rajniti Prasad and P.C. Gupta (both RJD) and Brij Bhushan Tiwari, Ram Gopal Yadav and Ram Narayan Sahu (all SP), continued to raise slogans ignoring repeated pleas by Mr. Ansari against it.

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