The J&K House Saturday passed a Bill allowing for reservation in government jobs to Pahari-speaking people in the state. The Bill was introduced and passed on the last day of the Assembly session and is aimed to attract votes from the Pahari-speaking communities.
The Bill was passed in the House with a voice vote with only the National Panther’s party (NPP) leader Harshdev Singh voicing reservations over “lacunae” in the Bill. “This Bill is ambiguous,” Harshdev Singh said. “There is no mechanism to find who is a Pahari-speaking person. Tomorrow anyone may claim to be a Pahari”.
Singh said the government should have brought this Bill in advance so that some amendments could have been proposed and demanded that it be sent to the select committee. Singh also criticised the “casual” manner in which the government tabled the bill before the house. The Bill tabled in the House sought reservation for Pahari speaking people “living in backward areas”.
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However, sometime later a corrigendum was submitted seeking reservation for Pahari-speaking people “living in various parts of the state”.