SRINAGAR: The Central Government is set to introduce a bill in the forthcoming winter session of Parliament, commencing on December 4, proposing a significant development – a 33 per cent reservation for women in the Legislative Assemblies of Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry.
Sources indicate that within the 90-seat Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, 33 per cent of seats, or around 29 to 30, will be exclusively reserved for women, with the implementation set to commence in 2029.
This initiative is not only about gender parity but also includes provisions for the reservation of seats for SC and ST women, building upon the existing seven seats reserved for SCs and nine for STs in the J&K Assembly.
As these provisions extend to the Lok Sabha, it is anticipated that one or two out of five LS seats in Jammu and Kashmir will also be earmarked for women, a move that aligns with broader efforts to enhance female representation in legislative bodies. Union Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to spearhead the introduction of this crucial bill.
The winter session is also likely to address four bills related to Jammu and Kashmir that were initially introduced during the Monsoon session in July. Among these bills, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, stands out, focusing on the nomination of members from the Kashmiri migrant and PoJK refugee communities to the UT’s Legislative Assembly. This response stems from concerns raised during the delimitation process, emphasising the preservation of political rights and identity for these communities.
While the proposed Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, seeks to change the nomenclature from ‘weak and underprivileged classes (Social Castes)’ to ‘Other Backward Classes,’ the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Castes Order Bill 2023 aims to include the Valmiki community in the Scheduled Castes list. These bills collectively underscore a comprehensive effort towards inclusive representation, with the 33 per cent reservation for women at the forefront of this legislative agenda.