The Lok Sabha, on Tuesday unanimously passed a Constitution amendment bill to extend reservation to SCs and STs by another 10 years. 352 members voted in favour of the Bill while no member voted against it. PM Modi tweeted saying that he was 'overjoyed' on the passing of the Bill and that the government is committed towards the empowerment of the citizens.
I am overjoyed on the unanimous passage of The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2019 that extends SC/ST reservations for ten more years.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 10, 2019
We are unwaveringly committed towards the empowerment of our citizens, especially the marginalised.
The Constitution provides for reservation of seats for SCs and STs and representation of the Anglo-Indian community by nomination, in the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies of states. This has been provided for a period of 70 years since the enactment of the Constitution and will expire on January 25, 2020. The Bill seeks to extend the reservation for SCs and STs by another 10 years till January 25, 2030.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asserted that quota in legislatures for SCs and STs was required to build a new political leadership of the two communities. He also said that the government is against the concept of "creamy layer" for the SC, ST communities as they are anyway backward and should not be "segregated" on such lines.
A few days ago, the government had urged the Supreme Court to reconsider its stand that socially, educationally and economically advanced cream of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) communities should be excluded from the benefits of reservation in government services. Supporting the extension of reservation for SCs and STs in legislatures, various Opposition members, however, questioned the government on not extending the similar benefit to the Anglo-Indian community. They also questioned that India has only 296 Anglo-Indians. The government argued that the opposition does not question when the same report lists the SC and ST at 20 crores and 10 crores.
(with inputs from PRS Legislative)