Day after massive victory in the Lok Sabha, the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Bill is facing the Rajya Sabha test today. Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot tabled the Bill in the Upper House today. The Bill will, if passed in both Houses, will ensure 10 percent reservation for economically weaker section of the society from the General Category. Also known as the Forward Quota Bill, the Bill is seen as a masterstroke by the Narendra Modi government in the election year. The Bill was virtually passed unopposed in the Lok Sabha. Introduced by Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot, the Forward Quota Bill was passed on the last day of the Winter Session of the Lok Sabha with 323 votes in favour and just three against.
The three lawmakers who opposed the Bill in the Lok Sabha are AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi, IUML’s ET Mohammed Basheer and PK Kunhalikutty. Owaisi called the Bill as an insult to BR Ambedkar. He also termed it as “fraud” on the Constitution as the Bill is being passed without proper ground report. This shows that even though the Congress is questioning the timing of the Bill, it still didn’t oppose the Bill. At time of the voting, both Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were present in the House. There are reports that the BJP has reached out to the Congress to ensure smooth passage of the Bill.
The Bill will provide 10% reservation to the General Category people in jobs and education. A person whose family has a gross annual income below Rs 8 lakh will be identified as a beneficiary. Under the Bill, the family includes “the person who seeks the benefit of reservation, his/ her parents and siblings below the age of 18 years as also his/ her spouse and children below the age of 18 years”. Also, income will cover all sources such as salary, agriculture, business, profession, etc.
However, families owning agricultural land above five acre, a house covering more than 1,000 square feet, or a 100-yard plot or above in a notified municipal area, or a plot of 200 yards or above in a non-notified municipal area cannot avail the benefit of this reservation.
Here are the LIVE UPDATES from Rajya Sabha:
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2pm due to protests by the Opposition leaders.
Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot introduced the Forward Quota Bill in the Rajya Sabha: Addressing the Upper House, Gehlot said that, “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.”