In a major move coming weeks before the country goes into election mode, the Narendra Modi-led government introduced a bill in Lok Sabha that seeks to amend the Constitution to provide 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions to economically backward section in the general category.
According to the Bill, "At present, the economically weaker sections of citizens have largely remained excluded from attending the higher educational institutions and public employment on account of their financial incapacity to compete with the persons who are economically more privileged." The Bill seeks to amend Article 15 of the Constitution, by adding a clause which allows states to make "special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens".
Here's are top 10 developments on Upper caste quota Bill
1. Provisions of Reservation for general category bill
— The Bill seeks to amend Article 15 of the Constitution, by adding a clause which allows states to make "special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens.
— These "special provisions" would relate to "their admission to educational institutions, including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the state, other than the minority educational institutions".
— Reservation would be "in addition to the existing reservations and subject to a maximum of ten per cent of the total seats in each category".2. Politicians welcome move: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati on Tuesday welcomed the reservation announced by the Centre for economically weaker sections in general category. However, she called the move a 'political stunt.'
BSP chief Mayawati to ANI: 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. pic.twitter.com/Iidi2rT0eC— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2019
I welcome the 10% reservation announced by the Centre. PM Narendra Modi's policies have helped to uplift the poor in the country, said BJP MP Anurag Thakur, according to ANI.
3. Govt to amend Constitution for the new quota: The government is making a "constitutional amendment" to implement the Cabinet's decision of giving 10 per cent reservation to economically-backward people from the general category in government jobs and educational institutions, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
3. Winter session of Rajya Sabha extended: In a bid to ensure passage of the politically significant legislation during the ongoing Winter session itself, a decision was also taken to extend the sitting of the Rajya Sabha by one day beyond Tuesday, which was originally the last day of the session.
4. Congress to support quota Bill: Reacting to the development, Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party has always backed every step for reservation and extended support to the economically poor sections of society irrespective of caste, community or creed.
"Without interfering with the constitutional mandate of reservation given to Dalits, adivasis and backward classes in any manner, we have always supported that those who are genuinely poor and who are not covered under these sections may also be given the benefit of opportunities and reservation, both in education and employment," Surjewala said.
5. Congress calls govt's move 'election gimmick': While supporting quota for economically weaker sections, Congress asserted that the move was a proof of the BJP's "fear" of losing Lok Sabha polls. It also said that "without jobs", the creation of reservation in employment may just prove to be "one more jumla".
6. Does Constitution permit quota on economic grounds? AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the Constitution doesn't permit reservations on economic grounds. "Reservations are meant to correct historical injustice to Dalits. For poverty alleviation, one may run various schemes but reservations are meant for justice.
Constitution doesn't permit reservations on economic grounds," the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief tweeted.
7. AAP demands special Parliament session over upper caste reservation: "For the economically backward upper castes, the Narendra Modi government has given a welcoming 'jumla'. Such similar decisions have been passed from time to time by several states, but the courts have banned more than 50 per cent reservation. Is this also a drama?" AAP MP Sanjay Singh said. The AAP MP said the Central government "should call for a special session of the parliament, or we will consider it another jumla", adding that "if only the cabinet passes this decision, the Supreme Court will ban this".
8. BJP issues whip to MPs: BJP has asked its MPs to be present in Parliament today as it seeks to push for the passage of a bill providing 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for economically weaker sections in the general category. The bill is likely to be tabled in the Lok Sabha Tuesday and the support of two-thirds of members is necessary for its passage.
9. Bihar's two top Dalit leaders hail govt's move: Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, and Hindustani Awam Morcha president and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi welcomed the 10 per cent reservation for poor upper caste members. Both Paswan and Manjhi said that they had also pushed for reservation to the upper caste poor. Going a step further, Manjhi said they should be given 15 per cent reservation instead of just 10 per cent.
10. JD(U) seeks all-party support for quota bill: In a statement, JD(U) spokesperson K C Tyagi said all political parties should support the constitutional amendment bill in the Parliament to help the socially and economically deprived sections of upper castes.