Government has introduced a Constitutional Amendment Bill to grant 10% reservation in government jobs and education to “economically weaker” sections in the General category. This quota will be over and above the existing 50% reservation that has been granted to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes. It will help the weaker section of society which are not currently covered under reservation.
NEWS from the article TimesNowNews:
Debate on 10% quota bill in Lok Sabha LIVE UPDATES: Bill is religion-neutral, assures Arun Jaitley
New Delhi: A day after the Union Cabinet approved a landmark proposal to provide 10 percent reservation in government jobs and education to “economically weaker” sections in the General category, a Constitutional Amendment Bill was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday. The proposed quota will be over and above the existing 50 percent reservation that has been granted to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes.
To implement this reservation, the government needs to amend the Constitution as it currently has no mention of “economically weaker” people. To pass the amendment, the government needs the support of minimum two-thirds members of both Houses of Parliament. The ruling NDA government has needed numbers in the Lok Sabha, while it will require additional support from the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
Reservation for General category: Here are the LIVE UPDATES
5:30 pm: Congress MP KV Thomas in Lok Sabha: “We support this quota bill, we are not against this. But the way it is being brought, raises questions on your sincerity. My request is to send this to JPC first.”
5:20 pm: “It will give great relief to people who have an annual income less than Rs 8 lakhs. Crores of young people will have benefits from this reservation in education and jobs. The reservation of 50 per cent for SC, ST & OBCs remains unaffected due to this decision,” says BJP president Amit Shah.
2:30 pm: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah says: “Only after defeats in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana, they (BJP) remembered to give reservation after 4.5 years. They actually don’t intend to give reservation; if it doesn’t get passed in Parliament they’ll say, ’we tried, but Parliament didn’t pass it’.”
2.00 pm: Ram Gopal Yadav, Samajwadi Party, says: “OBC ke liye bhi aabadi ke hisaab se aarakshan hona chahiye tha, sarkar is laxman rekha (50% reservation limit) ko paar kar rahi hai, to OBC ka unki aabadi ke hisaab se 54% aarakshan hona chahiye, ye jo aarakshan la rahe hain hum is faisle ka swagat karte hai. (OBCs should also get reservation according to population. The government is crossing the 50 per cent limit, so OBC, according to their population, should get 54 per cent reservation. I welcome the decision.)”
1:05 pm: The NDA government has introduced the Constitutional Amendment Bill to grant 10 per cent quota to economically backward sections in the General category has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. The bill was tabled by Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot.
11:55 am: Times Now has learned that the Constitutional amendment Bill could be introduced in the Lok Sabha at 12 noon and taken up for discussion post lunch at 2 pm.
11:50 am: BJP MP Anurag Thakur has backed the government’s move. “I welcome the 10% reservation announced by the Centre for economically weaker sections of the upper caste. PM Narendra Modi’s policies have helped in uplifting the poor in the country,” Thakur said outside Parliament.
11:45 am: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has supported the Narendra Modi’s government’s move to propose 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections among the General category or upper castes. “The BSP welcomes reservation for economically weaker sections of upper castes,” Mayawati told news agency ANI. She, however, added that the move is an election stunt. “Lok Sabha chunaav se pehle liya gaya ye faisla humein sahi niyat se liya gaya faisla nahi lagta hai, chunavi stunt lagta hai, rajnitik chalaava lagta hai. Acha hota agar BJP apna karyakaal khatam hone se thik pehle nahi balki aur pehle le leti (This decision, taken just before the Lok Sabha elections, appears to be an election stunt and not taken with good intent. It would have been good had the BJP taken this decision much earlier in its government’s tenure),” she said.
Top developments you need to know about reservation for General category:
- The Narendra Modi government cleared the proposal to provide 10 per cent quota to economically backward in the General category just months ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections due in April-May this year, with the Opposition calling it a political gimmick. The move, however, fulfills the long-standing demand of the upper castes. The announcement is crucial for the ruling party as the upper castes had indicated a drift from the Bharatiya Janata Party in the recently-concluded Assembly Elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
- The BJP has dubbed the move as “historic”, more so because it is for the first time ever that reservation has been proposed on non-caste, non-religion basis. The party as well as its allies called the move a “masterstroke” and asserted that it is reflective of the Modi government’s motto of ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ (with all, development for all). With the ruling party aiming to push the Constitutional amendment Bill in Parliament on Tuesday, it has issued a whip to all its MPs asking them to be present. Rajya Sabha’s Winter Session has also been extended by a day till Wednesday, as per sources.
- The Opposition, meanwhile, has supported the move knowing well the Bill’s political significance. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said: “The son or daughter of a person who is economically poor should get their share in education and employment. We will support all steps for this.” Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal also backed the move and called on the government to extend Parliament session and bring the constitutional amendment, failing which it will be considered “merely an election stunt”.
- Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution need to be amended to bring in a clause for reservation for economically weaker sections in educational institutions and government jobs. “The bill will provide a shelter for upper castes under the rubric of fundamental rights. The court’s rule of the maximum 50 per cent quota cannot fetter Parliament’s right to amend the Constitution,” a Union minister said. In the famous Indra Sawhney case judgement, the Supreme Court had said that reservation cannot exceed a total of 50 per cent for all categories.
- After the move becomes a law, major castes that will benefit from the proposed quota include Brahmins, Rajputs (Thakurs), Jats, Marathas, Bhumihars, several trading castes, Kapus and Kammas among other Upper Castes. The poor among other religions will also get the benefit of reservation.
- Under the provisions of the Bill, to avail benefit of this quota, one should not an annual household income of Rs 8 lakh, should now own more than five acres of agricultural land, should not have a house of 1000 sq ft or more, or land of 100 yards in notified municipality area and 200 yards in non-notified area.