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The Lok Sabha on Tuesday night passed a landmark bill to provide 10 percent reservation in jobs and education for the economically-backward section in the General category and it will be tabled in Rajya Sabha today.
Except for Rashtriya Janata Dal and AIMIM, no other major party Opposed the Bill. While most Opposition parties raised questions over the timing of the bill, they unequivocally supported the bill.
The Constitution doesn’t make provisions for reservation on economic grounds, hence the government intends to amend Article 15 and 16 to ensure the passage of the same.
Replying to an over four and half hour debate, Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot sought to allay doubts raised by several Opposition members about the legislation's fate if challenged in the Supreme Court.
He said, "Your doubts are unfounded. Put them to rest," he told Opposition members, many of whom dubbed the Bill as "jumla" and "gimmick", questioned its legal standing and accused the government of bringing it in haste with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls. Gehlot claimed that the Bill is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assertion when he assumed 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)".
PM Narendra Modi said that the passage of the Constitution Bill, 2019, in the Lok Sabha was a landmark moment in the nation's history. "It sets into motion the process to achieve an effective measure that ensures justice for all sections of society," he tweeted.
We are resolutely committed to the principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas.’— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 8, 2019
It is our endeavour to ensure that every poor person, irrespective of caste or creed gets to lead a life of dignity, and gets access to all possible opportunities.
He further said, "I thank MPs from all the parties who supported The Constitution (One Hundred And Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha. I also appreciate those MP colleagues who enriched today's debate with their views."
I thank MPs from all the parties who supported The Constitution (One Hundred And Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 8, 2019
I also appreciate those MP colleagues who enriched today’s debate with their views.