Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday described the passage of the quota bill as a victory of social justice. For the youth, it will ensure a wider canvas to showcase their prowess and contribute towards the country's transformation.
Delighted over the passage of the Constitution (124th amendment) Bill, Modi said.
The bill amended the Constitution to provide 10 per cent reservation to general category poor in jobs and education.
"Passage of the constitution (One Hundred And Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 in both Houses of Parliament is a victory for social justice. It ensures a wider canvas for our Yuva Shakti to showcase their prowess and contribute towards India’s transformation," Modi said in series of tweets.
He said the passage of the bill is a tribute to the makers of the Constitution and great freedom fighters, who envisioned an India that is strong and inclusive.
The house also witnessed a vibrant debate, where several members expressed their insightful opinions, he added.
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- Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Parliament on Wednesday passed a landmark Constitution amendment bill providing for 10 per cent reservation to upper castes in government jobs and higher educational institutions, with the Rajya Sabha voting it late in the night after rejecting a demand for referring it to a select committee for detailed scrutiny.
- The House passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 -- which was adopted by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday -- with 165 members in its favour and seven against it in a division amidst broad support from the Congress and other opposition parties despite their reservations over its constitutional validity and the timing in view of the approaching elections.
- Earlier, the House rejected an amendment moved by DMK member Kanimozhi and CPI(M)'s T.K. Rangarajan for referring the bill to a select committee for indepth scrutiny, with 155 voting against it and 18 for in a House of 244. Several other opposition amendments were also negatived.
- A constitutional amendment needs a special majority of more than half of the House present and two-thirds of those present voting in favour of it.
- The AIADMK, which is friendly with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), staged a walkout opposing the Bill with its member A. Navaneethakrishnan saying it violated the basic structure of the Constitution.
- Rejecting the opposition criticism that the bill was brought late in the government's tenure with an eye on upper caste votes in the coming Lok Sabha elections, Social Justice Minister Thawarchand Gehlot said the measure had been brought with good intentions and was aimed at justice for the economically weaker sections.
- He called the bill historic and allayed fears that the legislation would face legal hurdles, saying since it is a constitutional amendment even the Supreme Court would accept it, should there be any challenge.
- The Minister told the Congress party that unlike the Narasimha Rao government which issued a government order to implement a similar quota, the Modi had taken precaution by bringing in a statute amendment.
- Intervening in the over eight-hour debate, Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the proposed quota would not breach the Supreme Court's cap of 50 per cent on overall reservations. He said the legislation would apply to both Central and state governments.
- Senior Congress member and an eminent lawyer, Kapil Sibal, said the bill had been brought with "complete non-application of mind" and raised questions over the constitutionality of the bill and its implementation.
(With inputs from agencies)