The BJP has named actress Kangana Ranaut as its Lok Sabha candidate from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh in the upcoming general elections. The news of her candidacy was announced on March 24. Addressing a public address at Balh valley in Mandi on April 2, Kangana stated that she had been given the BJP ticket because of the ‘Women’s Reservation Bill’ that ensured 30 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies.

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Fact Check

Upon running a relevant keyword search, we came across several news reports regarding the Women’s Reservation Bill. We found a report by The Hindu from September 22, 2023, that the Women’s Reservation Bill or Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam was passed in the Rajya Sabha unanimously after Lok Sabha passed the same on September 20. The report also mentioned that the Bill will only be implemented by 2029 after a census and delimitation exercise are conducted.

We accessed the actual Bill and found a section where the same has been mentioned. The Bill states that it “shall come into effect after an exercise of delimitation is undertaken for this purpose after the relevant figures for the first census taken after commencement of the Constitution (One Hundred and Sixth Amendment) Act, 2023 have been published”.

While the Bill was being debated in the Lok Sabha, home minister Amit Shah had asserted that census and delimitation would begin soon after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Delimitation involves adjusting the boundaries of parliamentary and assembly constituencies, leading to an expansion in the number of constituencies in line with the most recent population data. Hence, the delimitation exercise will be conducted after the Census. The last time the delimitation exercise was implemented in the country was in 2002. Since the 2021 Census could not be conducted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the 2024 Lok Sabha elections here, the 128th Amendment Bill can only be effective before the 2029 general elections after the Census and delimitation exercise are completed.

Hence, it is clear that the Women’s Reservation Bill that shall provide 33 per cent reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies has not yet been implemented, and therefore, Kangana Ranaut’s assertion that she could be a candidate because of the Bill is baseless.

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