Wednesday 9 January 2019 12:36 AM UTC
NEW DELHI Jan 9: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Reservation Bill to provide a 10 per cent quota to the economically weaker sections, irrespective of their religion or caste, thus including the upper castes as well.
Earlier, the House witnessed a heated debate with Finance Minister Aun Jaitley making a strong pitch in favour of the bill and targeting Congress for raising concerns about the bill it had earlier supported.
With the new bill, the government hopes to reserve 10 per cent government jobs and seats in educational institutes for the poorer section of the society, irrespective of their religion or caste, thus providing for the upper caste that have traditionally been not entitled to any quota.
Many in the Opposition, including Congress, had declared their support for the bill, but also raised concerns on Tuesday during a debate in Parliament.
The bill will now have to pass through the Rajya Sabha hurdle as the session of the upper house has been extended by a day.
Jaitely has maintained that the bill will not require a ratification by the states as it amends the Part III of the Indian Constitution dealing with the fundamental rights.
According to reports, the government will table the bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday and in the Rajya Sabha today. The Winter Session of the Rajya Sabha has been extended by a day till Wednesday.
The decision to introduce a 10% quota for economically weaker sections in the general category comes months before the Lok Sabha polls. The decision was taken on Tuesday at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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