The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Bill which aims to provide 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education for the general category 'poor' in Rajya Sabha. The received support of 165 members in the Upper House, while seven voted against it. The legislation will now be sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for final approval. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday with 323 members voting in its favour and only three voting against it.
The opposition, including the Congress, had dubbed the legislation as a political gimmick that may not stand judicial scrutiny but came around to support it during voting, underlining the huge political import of the measure aimed at placating upper castes.
With the passage of the Bill, Article 15 and 16 of the Constitution would be amended to grant reservation for the "economically weaker" sections in the general category, which had so far been kept out of the quota ambit.
General category quota bill in Rajya Sabha: Highlights
10:20 pm: Rajya Sabha passes historic Bill granting 10 per cent quota for general category 'poor' in jobs and education. The Bill gets support of 165 members in the Upper House. Seven vote against it.
10:16 pm: Rajya Sabha defeats motion to send Reservation Bill to Parliament Select Committee with 18 votes in favour and 155 against.
9:54 pm: Voting underway over the Bill which proposes 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections among Upper castes. RJD, AIADMK are opposing the Bill, while DMK has demanded it to be sent to Parliament's Select Committee.
9:42 pm: I fail to understand why members who are opposing the Bill are here in the House to vote. They should abstain from voting, says Amar Singh
9:33 pm: We have a prime minister now who wants justice for all. We don't believe in the policy of atkana, latkana and bhatkana. PM Modi deserves an applause for bringing the Bill: GVL Narasimha Rao, BJP
9:05 pm: It was evident from Kapil Sibal's speech in the House that my friends in Congress want to stall the Bill in court of law, says Rakesh Sinha, nominated member of Rajya Sabha
8:35 pm: This is a historic moment, if this Bill is passed today, then in the coming days, RSS, which couldn’t make a single Dalit their chief in 90 years, will end the reservation for Dalits and backwards, says Sanjay Singh of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)
8:05 pm: The Government doesn't respect Parliament. It may have succeeded in circumventing the Parliamentary procedures but it will be very difficult for the Bill to stand in the court of law. You are misleading the people of the country, says Kumari Selja of the Congress
7:43 pm: We support the Bill, however, the Government has introduced it in a hurry only for luring voters during upcoming election. We urge the Government not to betray the people of the country. This Bill fraud on the Upper caste, says BSP's Satish Chandra Misra
7:31 pm: I support the Bill and urge the Government that reservation should also be brought in private sector, says Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan
6:50 pm: How the Government is going to implement the reservation if the law is made? Is there any machinery that has been devised under which proof of income will be given: Kapil Sibal
6:30 pm: This country is crying for jobs and jobs will only come with economic growth. Jobs are being reduced, has the Government collected any data before introducing the Bill? Kapil Sibal
6:22 pm: I don't know what was the need to bring the Bill in such a hurried way. The Government had ample time to introduce it earlier during the session and the House would have discussed it: Kapil Sibal, Congress
6:03 pm: The existing quota for SC/ST will not be touched under this Bill. I want to ask the Congress why they didn't bring the legislation in 2010.
Cricket mein chhakka slog over mein lagta hai, jab match close hota hai tab lagta hai. Agar aapko issi pe pareshani hai, to yeh pehla chakka nahi hai, aur chakke aane wale hain, says Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
5:40 pm: Govt is making mockery of Constitution. The Bill has been brought without taking any consent from members of House, says Kanimozhi of DMK
5:20 pm: Reservation is not 'poverty alleviation' program. It is a matter of representation, says Manoj Kumar Jha of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)
4:52 pm: We support the Bill unconditionally but in order to understand the complexities more time was needed. Bringing such an important Bill in a hurry is questionable. However, the criteria set in the Bill is not appropriate, says TDP MP YS Chowdhary.
4:43 pm: We support the Bill. Der aaye par durust aaye...Previous governments had ample opportunity to bring in such a law but failed to do so, and now when it has been introduced they are trying to stall it, says Ram Chandra Prasad Singh of Janata Dal-United (JD-U)
4:26 pm: We support the Bill that this Government has brought. However, there is every possibility that the Bill may not stand the scrutiny of law. Lok Sabha passed it but will it stand in court of law, says Prasanna Acharya of BJD
3:55 pm: The Trinamool Congress is angry over the way this Bill has been brought. This government has disrespected the Parliament. This Bill is meant to betray the youth and poor of the country, says TMC's Derek O'Brien
2:33 pm: 95 % of population to benefit from the upper caste reservation bill: Govt
2:05 pm: Rajya Sabha resumes
1:59 pm: CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP TK Rangarajan moves an amendment in The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019
1:50 pm: Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat on The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill: Another Ambedkar is born in the 21st century. And he has taken this decision for the economically weak people. I want to congratulate PM, son of poor has today thought about all the poor people
1:44 pm: Quota of SC, ST and OBC must be increased: Udit Raj
12:37 pm: RS adjourned till 2 pm
12:32 pm: 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: Gehlot
12:25 pm: Under this bill, the reservation will be given on economic grounds: Govt
12:03 pm: Upper caste reservation bill tabled in Upper House, debate begins
11:35 am: Upper House adjourned till 12 pm
11:31 am: We are confident that the bill will pass: Thawar Chand Gehlot
11:24 am: UP CM Yogi Adityanath on The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill: We express gratitude to PM Modi & central cabinet for taking this decision to give 10% reservation to economically weaker sections of the society. This bill materialises PM's principle of 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas'
11:22 am: Anand Sharma, Congress in Rajya Sabha:The way the House proceedings were extended without the consent of the opposition parties was not right. The situation now is such that there is no dialouge b/w opposition& govt. The govt is foremost responsible if the House doesn't function.
11:14 am: The government wants to extend the functioning of the House by a day as there are important bills to be passed: Vijay Goel
11:09 am: It is impossible to run the session amid chaos: Govt
11:06 am: Upper caste reservation bill tabled in Upper House, debate begins
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi were present in the Lower House when the bill was passed.
Replying to an over four and half hour debate, Social Justice Minister Thaavarchand Gehlot sought to allay doubts raised by several opposition members about the legislation's fate if challenged in the Supreme Court, saying he can say with confidence that the apex court will accept it.
"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 the government of bringing it in haste with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls.
Making an intervention during the debate, Union minister Arun Jaitley informed the House that this constitutional amendment bill will not go to state assemblies for ratification, meaning that it will come into force after the Upper House passes it and the President gives his assent.
Certain constitutional amendment bills require ratification from 50 per cent of state assemblies to come into force.
The bar of 50 per cent put by the apex court on total reservation is for caste-based quota, while the bill seeks it provide it for the economically weaker sections in the general category, Jaitley said.
(With inputs from PTI)