News Nation Logo

Parties across board hail Quota Bill, Opposition terms it 'election stunt' | Here's how parties reacted

As Many As 323 Members Voted In Support Of Bill And Only Three Voted Against, Underlining The Cross-party Support The Politically Crucial Bill Elicited.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Aniruddha Dhar | Updated on: 09 Jan 2019, 12:23:20 AM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)

New Delhi:

Parties across the board on Tuesday extended their support to the government's move to provide 10 per cent reservation in education and government jobs to economically weaker sections, even as the Opposition called it "election stunt" ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. A landmark Constitutional amendment bill seeking to provide 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education for the economically backward in upper castes (general category) was passed by the Lok Sabha, with most parties supporting the measure, described by the government as "historic" and in the country's interest. As many as 323 members voted in support of bill and only three voted against, underlining the cross-party support the politically crucial bill elicited.

Here’s how different parties reacted:

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said his party supported the bill, but no jobs were being created. The truth is that after four years and eight months, the Modi government has "suddenly woken up" to the woes of economically poor as it "faces imminent defeat" in the 2019 elections.

"Modi ji, the Congress will support reservation for the poor. But, who and how will people get the benefit of reservation in jobs when no jobs are being created?" he said on Twitter.

Congress MP Deepender Singh Hooda said the intention of the government was doubtful since it was bringing the bill in the final months of its tenure.

BSP chief Mayawati described it an "election stunt and political gimmick" ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. She, however, welcomed the "immature" move by the government.

"BSP's demand to provide reservation to the economically backward sections in general category is approved by the Cabinet in an immature way and without preparation. Our party, however, welcomes the decision though it appears to be an election stunt and political gimmick of the BJP ahead of Lok Sabha polls," she said in a statement.

 "It would have been better had the BJP taken the decision much earlier... The government is now on its way out," she claimed.

 Samajwadi Party also extended its support to the proposed 10 per cent legislation for poor among general category, but demanded that reservation for OBCs should be raised, who constitute 56 per cent of the total population.

 "We demand that the OBCs who constitute 56 per cent of the total population of the country should be given equal per centage of reservation," party's senior leader Ramgopal Yadav said while adding that the party supports the bill.

 Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu said the move was taken to divert attention from the alleged Rafale scam.

 "However, we support the 10 per cent reservation for the economically backward,'' he said at a public meeting at Kosigi village in Kurnool district.

"At the same time, we seek inclusion of Valmiki community in the ST list, washermen community in the SC list and extension of reservation for Kapus under the backward castes quota,'' Naidu said, recalling that the state legislature had passed bills in this regard and sent them to the Centre for approval.

JD(S) supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda also extended support to the Centre's move.

"Janata Dal (Secular) supports the 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for economically weaker sections of the upper castes. We have always stood for, and will continue to stand for betterment of the underprivileged and weaker sections of the society," the veteran leader said in a series of tweets.

The DMK said the BJP-led government at the Centre has started a "disastrous game" with backward classes and others with this move.

He said the 10 per cent quota would not stand the legal scrutiny as it has been clearly stated that "reservation should be for those who are socially and educationally backward".

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the move was a "fraud on the Constitution and is an insult to Dr BR Ambedkar." 

Opposition parties are likely to question the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling block lacks the majority, over the timing of the general category reservation bill and have asked all their members to be present in full strength, sources said.

While virtually all parties supported the passage of the bill that provides 10 per cent quota for the general category poor in jobs and education in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the sources said they are likely to take a tougher stand in the Rajya Sabha on the basis of their sheer numbers.

With 73 MPs, the BJP has the highest number of seats in the house, which currently has a strength of 244. This is followed by the Congress which has 50 members. The sources also said members of opposition parties are upset over the extension of the Rajya Sabha proceedings by a day and will protest in the house. The opposition members did not allow the Upper House to transact any business on Tuesday as the house was adjourned six times during the day.

(With PTI inputs)

For all the Latest India News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.

First Published : 09 Jan 2019, 12:19:28 AM