The Constitutional Amendment Bill, number 124, to provide 10 per cent quota in government jobs and education for “economically weaker” sections among the general category has also been tabled in the Lok Sabha and will be taken up for debate next. The Narendra Modi Cabinet had on Monday, in a surprise decision months before polls, announced the reservation, meeting a key demand of upper castes, a staunch BJP support base which has shown signs of a drift from the party.
“Muslims are not included among the six religions mentioned in the bill. Make it secular. Anyone who comes out of religious persecution should be included if they seek asylum in India,” TMC leader Saugata Roy said, urging the Speaker to intervene. “When the Constitution is being threatened, the Speaker should speak up,” she says.
“The countries where minorities were subjected to violence have only been able to find safe shelter in India. We regulated their entry, stay in India, but despite these changes, they cannot apply for citizenship as they are considered migrants,” Rajnath Singh says in Lok Sabha. Govt defends the bill, says no persecution will happen. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demands bill be sent back to select committee. Shortly after the Congress walks out of Lok Sabha.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh tables Citizenship Bill in Lok Sabha, says bill important to safeguard people’s interests. “I want to specify that the bill is not just for Assam but other states too. The law will imply to all states as migrants cannot get citizenship” he says, adding, “Assam is dealing with illegal migration for a long time now and Assam’s burden is India’s burden.” Continuing his speech, the Home Minister adds that nationwide surveys were conducted by NGOs and other groups to help in framing the amendment bill. The bill aims to provide citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians – after six years of residence in India, instead of 12, even if they do not possess proper documents.
First time in Winter Session, No protests During Question Hour | Lok Sabha, for the first time in the Winter Session, saw no protests by Opposition parties in the Well during the Question Hour on Tuesday. Protests in the Well with sloganeering and display of placards by members of various parties were a common scene this session, which led to frequent adjournments and suspension of 49 MPs belonging to the AIADMK, the TDP, and an ‘unattached’ YSR Congress member. The AIADMK staged protests over construction of a dam over river Cauvery by Karnataka and the TDP lodged protests demanding special state status to Andhra Pradesh. Congress members, too, disrupted proceedings on several occasions, demanding a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee into the Rafale aircraft deal.
If the bill doesn’t get passed in Parliament, they’ll say, ’We tried, but Parliament didn’t pass it’,” the National Conference leader said,
Omar Abdullah: Only after defeat in Madhya Pradesh,Chhattisgarh,Rajasthan&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’ pic.twitter.com/xH36r03TPs
— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2019
Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot has tabled bill for 10 percent reservation for economically weaker upper caste sections in Lok Sabha.
— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2019
Govt tables bill for quota to EWS General Category in Lok Sabha.
News18 has access to a copy of the quota bill that seeks 10% reservation for ‘economically weaker’ from the general category, expected to be tabled in the Lok Sabha shortly.
Bill to grant 10 percent quota to economically weaker sections in the general category is expected in the Lok Sabha at noon, and Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot is likely to table the constitution amendment bill on reservation in the Lok Sabha.
The ruling BJP hopes that the bill will help consolidate the general castes in its support as it begins campaign for the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in April-May. BJP vice-president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe described the reservation as a step to widen the social justice net. “Congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the historic decision of extending job quotas for economically weaker sections. A commendable step widening the social justice net and underscoring the inclusive approach of the government,” he said. Hailing the decision, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and BJP’s ally RPI (Athawale) leader Ramdas Athawale described the decision as a “masterstroke” and said it could end the difference between the upper and lower caste. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) also backed the measure, so did LJP’s Ram Vilas Paswan, who called it historic.
“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 its famous Indra Sawhney judgement, the Supreme Court had set a cap of 50 per cent cap on quotas. Government sources said the proposed constitutional amendment will pave the way for the additional quota. Among the major castes to benefit from the proposed law are Brahmins, Rajputs (Thakurs), Jats, Marathas, Bhumihars, several trading castes, Kapus and Kammas among other Upper Castes. The poor among the other religions will also benefit from it, sources added.
Asked whether the Congress will support a bill for the quota in Parliament, 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.” He said the Congress will continue to support every step that provides opportunities as well as employment to the economically poor sections of society. “The truth, however, is that after four years and eight months, the Modi government has suddenly woken up to the woes of economically poor facing imminent defeat in the 2019 elections and with 100 days to go for polls,” Surjewala said.”That itself raises certain questions on the intent, the bonafide and the honesty of the Modi government altogether,” he said.
Congress Says Party Backs Support for Economically Poor | 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 bgiven benefit of opportunities and reservation, both in education and employment,” Surjewala said.
Reservation in Sync With Modi Govt Policy? | A jubilant BJP and its allies hailed the move as “historic” and a “masterstroke”, saying it is in sync with the Modi government’s motto of ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ (With all, development for all). The bill seeks to amend Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution, introducing 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.
Proposed Reservation to be Over Existing 50% | The BJP has issued a whip to its MPs, asking them to be present in Parliament on Tuesday as it seeks to push for the passage of the bill. The proposed reservation will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation enjoyed by the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, and will take the total reservation to 60 per cent. The Constitution, which has no mention of “economically weaker” people, will require an amendment to provide quota for them and at least two-thirds of the members in both the Houses will need to support the bill for it become a law.
Springing a major surprise on opposition parties, the govt has decided to table the Constitution Amendment (124) Bill in the Lok Sabha at noon, contrary to speculation that the bill would be tabled first in the Rajya sabha tomorrow. In a major move ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Union Cabinet Monday had cleared a 10 per cent quota in government jobs and education for “economically weaker” sections, meeting a key demand of upper castes, a staunch BJP support base which has shown signs of a drift from the party. The BJP termed the Narendra Modi government’s move as “historic” while the Opposition questioned its timing with the Congress dubbing it a “election gimmick”.