The Women’s Reservation Bill, aimed at providing 33 percent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha, was passed in the Lok Sabha during a Special Session of Parliament in New Delhi. The bill secured an overwhelming 452 votes in favor, marking a historic mandate. Only two votes were cast against the bill, reportedly by Members of Parliament from the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
The two MPs who voted against the bill have been identified as AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and AIMIM MP from Aurangabad, Imtiaz Jaleel. AIMIM is a minority party that advocates for the concerns of Muslims, Dalits, and Tribals.
Asaduddin Owaisi, who serves as the President of AIMIM, has been elected four times as a Member of Parliament, representing the Hyderabad constituency in the Lok Sabha. He is the third individual to hold the position of national president within the AIMIM party, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
Imtiyaz Jaleel Syed, also known as Syed Imtiyaz Jaleel, is an Indian politician affiliated with AIMIM. He secured his position as a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha representing the Aurangabad Lok Sabha Constituency during the 2019 General Elections. Previously, in 2014, he was elected as a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, representing the Aurangabad Central constituency. Jaleel also holds the role of state president for AIMIM in Maharashtra and is a member of the Standing Committee on Urban Development.
Asaduddin Owaisi had expressed his objections to the ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ (Women’s Reservation Bill) earlier on Tuesday, citing his opposition to the bill’s lack of provisions for women belonging to the Muslim and OBC communities.
During the debate on the bill in the Lok Sabha, Owaisi reiterated his opposition, stating that the bill primarily focuses on increasing representation for ‘savarna’ (upper-caste) women, neglecting the interests of OBC and Muslim women. He characterized the bill as a “woman deception bill” and an affront to OBC and Muslim communities.
“This bill will affect the representation of OBC women and Muslim women. This is a woman deception bill, anti-OBC, anti-Muslim bill,” Owaisi asserted during the debate. The opposition from AIMIM leaders underscores the ongoing discussion and controversy surrounding the Women’s Reservation Bill in India’s parliamentary proceedings.