Quota Bill Sanctioning 10% Reservation For Economically Weaker Sections Of Upper Castes Passed in Rajya Sabha
Quota Bill giving 10 percent reservation to economically weaker section of upper caste passed in Rajya Sabha (Photo Credits: Video Grab/ Rajya Sabha)

New Delhi, January 9: The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 sanctioning 10 per cent reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to economically weaker sections among the upper castes. A total of 165 Members of Parliament (MPs) voted in favour of the bill, while only seven lawmakers voted against it. The provision will become a law once President Ram Nath Kovind signs it. During the debate on the bill, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the measure will be applicable to both central and state jobs.

The upper house also rejected DMK MP Kanimozhi's proposal to send the bill to Select Committee. Meanwhile, the Congress MP Kapil Sibal questioned why the bill had been tabled so early without even referring to Select Committee of the parliament for proper scrutiny.

(Photo Credits: Video grab /Rajya Sabha TV)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed happiness over the smooth passage of the Quota Bill. He termed it a victory for social justice. PM Modi tweeted, "Passage of The Constitution (One Hundred And Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 in both Houses of Parliament is a victory for social justice. It ensures a wider canvas for our Yuva Shakti to showcase their prowess and contribute towards India’s transformation."

Yesterday, the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with a brute majority. Out 321 Members of Parliament (MPs) who participated in the voting, 316 voted in its favour, whereas, only five lawmakers voted against it. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, BSP chief Mayawati the Union Cabinet's decision to provide 10 per cent reservation in education and government jobs to the economically weaker sections was an "election stunt and political gimmick" of the BJP.

According to estimates, the Bill is expected to benefit a population of 190 million categorised under the upper castes. The eligibility criteria includes: annual income below Rs 8 lakh, house smaller than 1,000 square feet and farmland less than 5 acres, among others. Members of all religious communities could avail the quota benefits, the legislation states.