The Union Cabinet cleared the Women Reservation Bill in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, according to reports. Union minister Prahlad Singh Patel tweeted about the clearance of the Women's Reservation Bill in a tweet after the Cabinet meeting but later deleted the tweet.
"Only the Modi government had the moral courage to fulfill the demand for women's reservation, which has been proven with the Cabinet's clearance. Thanks to Narendra Modi and Modi government," said Patel, Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jal Shakti.
Amid reports that the Cabinet has cleared the Women Reservation Bill, the Congress party's communications chief Jairam Ramesh said the party welcomed the move.
"It’s been a long-standing demand of the Congress party to implement women’s reservation. We welcome the reported decision of the Union Cabinet and await the details of the Bill," said Ramesh in a tweet.
Amid uncertainty over the agenda of the Special Session of the Parliament, parties across the spectrum had called for the passage of the Women Reservation Bill. The bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in 2008 but had not progressed in the Lok Sabha. The bill in 2008 sought to reserve one-third of all seats in Parliament and state assemblies for women. The details of the current bill are not yet known.
Earlier on Monday, Modi said the Special Session of the Parliament would witness "historic decisions" and it had increased expectations that the Modi government has big plans for the session. For weeks now, there have been speculations over the agenda of the session, which has largely been shrouded in secrecy. It has been speculated that the government could bring bills for the women's reservation in the parliament and state assemblies or change the name of the nation to Bharat from the current arrangement where both India and Bharat are stated in the Constitution.
Earlier, the Modi government had said that the women's reservation in the Parliament and state assemblies is an issue that has to move forward with consensus.
The Congress party has extended support for the Women Reservation Bill. In 2017, the then-Congress President Sonia Gandhi wrote to Modi and urged him to use his majority in the Lok Sabha for the passage of the Women Reservation Bill.