Quota Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha

Parliament of India
Parliament of India

New Delhi, Jan 9 : The 124th Constitution Amendment Bill, 2019 to award 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections was passed with majority in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. After 10-hour long debate, most of the members in the Upper House of the Parliament agreed to go ahead with the bill despite opposition from some parties.

The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill to provide 10 percent reservation in education and government jobs for ‘economically weak’ people across castes and religions.

The bill was passed with 165 members supporting it and 7 members opposing it.

As Gehlot was moving the Bill, DMK’s K. Kanimohzi objected to it, demanding that the legislation be sent to the Select Committee.

CPI’s D. Raja also objected to the consideration of the bill demanding that it be sent to a Select Committee.

Madhusudhan Mistry of Congress said the Bill was not complete and told the government that it cannot have both introduction and voting on the same day. He asked what was the urgency in the passage of the Bill.

The Congress and some other opposition members were in the well against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which was passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

They were also protesting against the “unilateral” extension of the session till Wednesday saying it was done without consulting the opposition. They said the Chair did not announce a day’s extension in the working days of the House nor did it seek the members’ consent.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said that Home Minister Rajnath Singh will make a statement on the Citizenship Amendment Bill at 2 p.m. while accusing the Congress of stalling the quota bill indirectly due to technical grounds.

“If you openly oppose the Bill, it is different. Otherwise, let’s have a discussion on it as it has already been introduced,” he said.

Congress’ Anand Sharma said that his party was not opposing the reservation Bill but the government should state the reason behind its introduction after four-and-a-half years of being in power.

He alleged that the intention of the government was to grab votes.

Moving the Bill, Gehlot said the Constitution does not allow reservation on economic basis and due to that poor people in general category miss out on opportunities.

“There was a complaint by the poor of the general category that they could not avail of government benefits. The decision has been taken after much consideration. This bill will uplift the poor,” he said.

He appealed to the members to pass the bill unanimously. This was followed by the start of the debate by BJP member Prabhat Jha. But as shouting and uproar continued, Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House till 2 p.m.

The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill was passed after a division with 323 members voting in its favour and three against in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day too, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned once up to noon after protests by members on the “unilateral” extension of the session.

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