'Victory for Social Justice' | After the historic passage of The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 in both the Houses of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dubbed it as a victory for social justice. "It ensures a wider canvas for our Yuva Shakti to showcase their prowess and contribute towards India’s transformation," PM Modi said.
Earlier, the Congress rose up to extend its support for the quota bill but said it fails to understand the urgency behind the move. Congress's Kapil Sibal, pointing out the difficulties with the bill, said where is the data to back government's decision to introduce the reservation bill for the economically poor among the general category candidates.
AAP attacks the BJP and RSS on the 10% reservation of economically backward upper castes:
Sanjay Singh, AAP in Rajya Sabha on #QuotaBill: This is a historic moment, if this bill is passed today, then in the coming days, RSS, which couldn’t make a single Dalit their chief in 90 years, will end the reservation for Dalits and backwards. pic.twitter.com/kXDntgoKyW— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2019
CLICK TO READ | Ultimately It's Muddled Thinking: Amartya Sen on 10 Per Cent Reservation for Economically Backward Upper Castes
Sen also said the Modi government sustained the 'high economic growth' achieved during the UPA regime, but that did not translate into jobs, poverty elimination and better healthcare and education for all.
BJP Demands Implementation of 10% Quota for General Category Poor in J&K | The BJP's Jammu and Kashmir unit Wednesday urged the president to extend to the state 10 per cent reservation for the general category poor. Welcoming the passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha, state BJP president Ravinder Raina told reporters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had fulfilled his promise of empowering all neglected sections of society. "We urge President of India to extend the benefit of 10 per cent reservation to the general category poor living in Jammu and Kashmir as the act cannot be directly implemented here in view of Article 370," he said.
'States to Decide Reservation Bill Beneficiaries' | Taking on the argument put forth by the opposition on how the beneficiaries of the new reservation bill shall be decided, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that the legislation gives powers to the states to decide on the economic criteria for defining the beneficiaries of the tabled Quota Bill. Intervening in the debate on The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, he said the 10 per cent reservation to poor in the general category will be applicable to jobs in both central and state governments.
Opposition's Charge of Unconstitutionality of Reservation Bill Intensifies | The Congress and other opposition parties on Wednesday strongly protested in the Rajya Sabha over the introduction of the bill to provide 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions to economically poor among the general category and supported demands for sending it to a select committee. Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, "The Mandal Commission provision of 10% reservation for the economically weaker category was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. If a nine-judge bench held it unconstitutional, how can you amend the constitution?"
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad insinuated that the government has more such big announcements in the offing:
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Rajya Sabha on #QuotaBill: Cricket mein chhakka slog over mein lagta hai, jab match close hota hai tab lagta hai. Agar aapko issi pe pareshani hai, to yeh pehla chakka nahi hai, aur chakke aane wale hain. pic.twitter.com/f6yNjppFDB— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2019
'Reservation Bill Can't be Backed by Data' | Congress leader Kabil Sibal has argued in the Rajya Sabha that the Centre's Quota bill seeking 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions to economically weaker sections in the general category is 'devoid of empirical data'. Further, Sibal charged the Modi government of not 'applying their minds' while framing the bill.
Quota Bill Expression of BJP's Desperation | CPI(M) MP Elamaram Kareem charged the BJP of robbing the country of one crore jobs during demonetisation. "The timing of this Bill expresses the desperation of BJP to muster support electorally," he said. The government of Kerala, from 1957, made land reforms, developed public education and distribution system, empowered women and strengthened people's participation in administration, he added.
JD(U) Welcomes Centre's Reservation Bill | While the JD (U) has extended its support to the Quota bill, the TDP argues that the bill should have been referred to a Select Committee. TDP MP YS Chowdary said, "Compromising on parliamentary procedures is very sad. Chandrababu Naidu said that this kind of Bill should have been referred to a select committee. On the contrary, Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, a JD(U) MP, said, "JD(U) supports this Bill and welcomes it. This Bill has strength. Even if it has been delayed, at least this Bill is now here."
Reservation a Theory Since the Independence | BJD MP Prasanna Acharya argued in the Rajya Sabha that the Centre's reservation bill may not stand the scrutiny of the law. Terming the reservation as a theory made before the Independence, he said, "I thank the government for bringing this bill into the Parliament, even though it was brought a bit late. I remember Ambedkar now. When the Constituent Assembly was made, there was reservation there too. Is this House competent to bring such a Bill? It may not stand the scrutiny of the law."
TMC Dubs Quota Bill as 'Acknowledgement of Guilt' | Derek O'Brien of the Trinamool Congress attacked the Centre's pre-poll reservation bill on Wednesday labelling it as an 'acknowledgement of guilt'. "This bill is an acknowledgement of guilt, that we haven't created any jobs in the last four and a half years. It redefines India's poverty line of Rs 32 a day. If we look at the number of Rs 8 lakhs a year, then the new poverty line stands at Rs 2,100 a day," he said.
The PM's Strong Defence | Defending the introduction of the 10 per cent quota for the economically backward upper castes in jobs and education, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the bill is a strong answer to those "spreading lies". Hoping that the Rajya Sabha will pass the Bill on Wednesday, PM Modi said the rights of deprived sections, including Dalits and the tribals, won't be affected because of this bill. He termed the passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha as a historic step aimed at the welfare of the deprived sections.
CLICK TO READ | Indra Sawhney, Who Had Blocked Narasimha Rao's Quota Move, May Challenge Modi Govt's Pre-Poll Reservation
The veteran lawyer said the bill to grant 10% quota to economically weaker among general category will be struck down by the courts because it will take the reservation ceiling to 60% and deserving candidates in the open category will be left out.
A Navaneethakrishnan from AIADMK is speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Quota Bill. Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav said that he supports the Bill but says its motive is Lok Sabha elections. The debate continues in the Upper house and it is yet to be seen if it can be passed on the last day of the winter session.
"It's not about PM Modi but about crores of India's youth, says BJP MP Prabhat Jha, requesting Opposition to pass the Quota Bill in Rajya Sabha. "It's only Narendra Modi who has followed slogan of 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas' in its true spirit, like a devout would chant verses of Gita. Let's join our hands for development of all," Jha adds.
"Situation in North East is under control. Several steps have been taken in last four years to control illegal migration. The government is committed to preserve distinct identity of Assam," says Rajnath Singh.
'Citizenship Bill for All States' | Condemning violence in Assam and other North East states over Citizenship Bill, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that the bill is not only for Assam, but will be extended for migrants in other states as well. "There have been efforts to create confusion over the issue," he said.
"We have taken some big steps for the enforcement of Assam Accord," says Rajnath Singh in Rajya Sabha.
As the debate over Quota Bill continues in Rajya Sabha, Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat, while reacting to the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, said, "Another Ambedkar is born in the 21st century. And he has taken this decision for the economically weak people. I want to congratulate PM, son of poor has today thought about all the poor people."
Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot says, "The Bill has not been passed in a hurry. The intentions behind this Bill are noble. The country's poor need this quota."
Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on 10% quota bill in Rajya Sabha: This bill will uplift the poor of the nation. This decision has been taken with thorough consideration; Opposition comes into the well of the House as the minister speaks on the Bill. pic.twitter.com/THZVUmiicZ— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2019
CPI Wants Quota Bill to Go to Select Committee | CPI leader D Raja says that the quota bill needs to go to select committee first before it comes up for discussion in Rajya Sabha.
#NewsAlert -- We know that the Bill is being introduced in a hurry because of the upcoming elections. We understand what is happening we are not kids: Anand Sharma, Cong in RS #ModiQuotaSop pic.twitter.com/9bWFrLO9W6— News18 (@CNNnews18) January 9, 2019
Earlier, TMC's Derek O'Brien said the introduction of the quota bill is an admission on the part of the government that no jobs were created in the last four years.
Asking Opposition to join hands for "development of all", BJP MP Prabhat Jha dared Rahul Gandhi to discuss Quota Bill in Rajya Sabha. "Rahul Gandhi just talks about Rafale every time, why is he not present now to talk on a crucial bill that relates to crores of lives," he said.
Condemning violence in Assam and other North East states over Citizenship Bill, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that the bill is not only for Assam, but will be extended for migrants in other states as well. "There have been efforts to create confusion over the issue," he said.
Chaos erupted in the Upper House moments after the government tabled the Constitution Amendment Bill to give 10% quota to ‘economically weaker’ upper castes. The Left has demanded that the bill, which seeks to provide 10% reservation to the be sent to the Select Committee first before being taken up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha. The government will today also table the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Upper House where proceedings will wrap up today.
The quota bill and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. After a debate that continued for over four and half hours, 323 Lok Sabha members voted in support of the quota bill and only three voted against it, underlining the cross-party support given political significance of the proposed legislation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as also Congress president Rahul Gandhi were present when the voting took place. In a series of tweets, Modi later thanked MPs from all parties for supporting the bill and called it a "landmark moment" that would ensure every poor person, irrespective of caste and creed, to get a life of dignity and access to all possible opportunities.
Being a constitutional amendment bill, it will require presence of at least half of the members even in the upper house and support from two-third of them.
Replying to the debate, Social Justice Minister Thaavarchand Gehlot sought to allay doubts raised by opposition members about the legislation's fate if it is challenged in the Supreme Court, asserting he can say with confidence that the apex court will accept it.
The Modi government's policy and intention is good and that is why it has enabled the reservation for the poor in the general category, he said, seeking support of all parties for the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill 2019.
"Your doubts are unfounded. Put them to rest," he told the opposition members, many of whom dubbed the bill as "jumla" (rhetoric) and "gimmick", questioned its legal standing and accused the government of bringing it in haste with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls, which are expected in a few months.
Gehlot said the bill was in line with Prime Minister Modi's assertion at the time of assuming power in 2014 that his government would be devoted to the cause of the poor and work for "sabka saath sabka vikas" (with all, development for all).
"This is an historic decision and in the interest of the country," he said. The proposed quota would be over and above the 50 per cent reservation already available to SC/ST and Other Backward Castes.
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.
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