The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a Constitution Amendment Bill to grant 10 percent reservation in education and government jobs to economically-weaker sections of upper castes across religions.
The reservation is meant for economically-weaker upper caste sections whose annual earning is below Rs. 8 lakh and who possess less than 5 acres of agriculture land.
There were 323 votes in favour of the bill, and 3 against it.
If the bill is passed by the Rajya Sabha as well, the total percentage of reservation will go up to 60, surpassing the 50 per cent ceiling prescribed by the Supreme Court.
The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in the House by Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot on Tuesday, a day after the Cabinet took the politically-significant decision, just a few months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
While moving the bill, Gehlot said the legislation will pass the legal scrutiny and any challenge will be defeated in a court of law.
He insisted that it was necessary for ensuring social equality in the country.
He asked, "Why does the Government not take up the Women Reservation Bill with the same priority as this quota bill?"
The bill will benefit upper castes of not only Hindus but also Muslims and Christians, a government source said yesterday.
Among the Hindus, the castes which would benefit from the decision include Brahmin, Banya, Bhaiyya, Thakur's and Kayasthas, the source had said.
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