Jaipur, Mar 26: The Rajasthan Government has amended the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (PR) Act, 1994 for making mandatory 50 per cent reservation for women in election to Panchayati Raj institutions in the state. The Bill, Rajasthan Panchayat Raj (Second Amendment) Bill 2008, was passed in the state Assembly on Tuesday amid din by a voice vote.
The opposition Congress members were raising anti-government slogans in protest against appointments of politicians other than MLAs and ministers as incharges for heading district level administrative committees, while the House was formalising the passage of the Bill. Moving the Bill in the House, Panchayati Raj Minister Kalu Lal Gurjar said under the existing provisions of the Rajasthan
Panchayati Raj Act 1994, representation of women in these institutions was one third of the total strength. However, since the women constitute nearly one half of the total population, it was reasonable that their representation in Panchayati Raj institutions be increased, Mr Gurjar said.
“For this purpose, sections 15 and 16 of the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Act 1994 are being amended," the minister added. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who also holds the finance portfolio, had announced in her Budget speech in the Assembly last month that the reservation quota for women in Panchayati Raj institutions would be raised from present 33 per cent to 50 per cent.