New Delhi: The Constitution Amendment Bill, which provides for the provision of 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker section in the general category, got approval from the Lok Sabha with 323 votes, on Tuesday. Now, it will be presented in the Rajya Sabha, on Wednesday.
Almost all parties including the opposition in the Lok Sabha supported the 124th Constitution Amendment Bill, 2019 to enable the new quota.
While presenting the bill, the government also accepted if the bill takes the form of law, it will be subjected to judicial review as it been brought through constitution amendment. Under this bill, there is a provision for ensuring reservation in education and government jobs to economically backward people of general category. The Union Cabinet approved the bill on Monday.
During the discussion on the bill the Lower House, various opposition parties, including the Congress and Samajwadi Party, called it in a “hasty decision” by the government. The opposition said the government has brought this bill in keeping the upcoming Lok Sabha election in mind. However, many opposition parties, including the Congress, Trinamool, AIADMK, and Samajwadi Party, supported the bill.
The Union social justice and empowerment minister, Thawar Chand Gehlot, while speaking on the bill for five hours in the House, said this decision was an important step in the direction of “development of everyone, everyone’s development”. He said the quota will alleviate poverty and benefit millions of families in the weaker section of the general category, irrespective of their caste or religion.
This bill was discussed in the Lok Sabha from 5am to 10pm in the Lok Sabha.
A special provision in this bill is related to admission in higher educational institutions. According to this, the law of 10 per cent reservation for the general category will also be applicable in private educational institutions. It is mentioned in the bill that 10 per cent quota will also be applicable to the government-aided and non-aided educational institutions in the private sector. Minority educational institutions have been excluded from its scope.
Earlier, in 2009, the Right to Education Act reserved 25 per cent seats for economically weaker and neglected children.
Bill faces Rajya Sabha hurdle
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP-led NDA government faces a tough challenge in the Rajya Sabha for passing the bill because it is in minority there. It has 89 members in the 245-member house.
Although many opposition parties have supported the bill in the Lok Sabha, it is likely to be blocked in the Upper House. With the general election around the corner, few parties will be willing to allow the BJP to walk away with the credit.
The winter session of Parliament, which had been extended by a day, ends on Wednesday.