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New Parliament to take up old issue of women’s quota

The Women’s Reservation Bill will be tabled for discussion and passing. NEW DELHI: With both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha adjourning to meet past noon on Tuesday at the new Parliament building, it was curtains for the magnificent pre-Independence circular structure built by architectural maestros Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, which served as the Constituent Assembly and subsequently Parliament for decades.

A formal griha pravesh (housewarming) is expected on Tuesday, which is the auspicious Ganesh Chaturthi day, before the official business begins. If the buzz in Parliament is anything to go by, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would enter the new Parliament bearing a pot with holy waters of the Ganges and other rivers from its Makar Dwar — one of its six gates — and participate in a havan (ritual offerings to fire) amid chanting of Vedic mantras. To make the special session of Parliament momentous, the Women’s Reservation Bill will be tabled for discussion and passing.

In his last address at the old Parliament’s Lok Sabha, Modi recounted the contributions of first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his successors Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, P V Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Initiating a discussion on ‘Parliamentary Journey of 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha — Achievements, Experiences, Memories and Learnings’, Modi said it was in this Parliament that Nehru delivered his ‘tryst with destiny’ speech at the stroke of the midnight hour, which continues to inspire.

“In the same House, Atalji’s words about ‘governments may come and go; parties may be formed or disbanded; but this nation has to live on’, continues to echo,” he said. He also recalled episodes like the cash-for-vote scam during the Manmohan Singh government. “As we leave this building our mind is filled with many emotions and memories.

There were clashes here as well as celebrations. This is our shared pride,” he added. The PM said the biggest achievement in the past 75 years was that the common person’s trust in Parliament continues to grow. “The decision to construct it was indeed taken by foreign rulers but the hard work and money that went into its building was of my countrymen.” Modi dedicated the last day to the over 7,500 parliamentarians who served since Independence. Cabinet approves Women's Reservation Bill The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the Women’s Reservation Bill on Monday.

Sources suggested that the bill might be presented in the new Parliament building later this week, in response to demands from both the Opposition and ruling coalition members. Earlier in the day, PM Modi hinted at important decisions to be made in the new Parliament. Although there’s no official government briefing, it’s reported that the cabinet had a comprehensive discussion on the bill. The Women’s Reservation Bill aims to reserve 33% of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women, promoting their participation in decision-making. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)