Parliament highlights: Lok Sabha passes bill providing reservation for ‘economically weaker’ general categoryhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/parliament-winter-session-live-updates-citizenship-bill-triple-talaq-bill-transgender-bill-5527937/

Parliament highlights: Lok Sabha passes bill providing reservation for ‘economically weaker’ general category

Parliament highlights: The NDA government's bill to provide 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education to economically backward sections of the general category was passed by Lok Sabha after hours of discussion. While 323 MPs voted in favour of the bill, three voted against it.

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The government has extended the Winter session of the Rajya Sabha by a day till Wednesday The session of Parliament, begun on December 11 and was to end on Tuesday. (file/Express photo by Ravi Kanojia)

The constitutional amendment bill to provide 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for economically weaker sections in the general category has been passed in the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha will take up the bill on Wednesday.

Amid a bandh in the north-east states, Home Minister Rajnath Singh moved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha Tuesday and was subsequently passed after a discussion. The bill proposes to make minority (non-Muslim) immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who have entered India before December 31, 2014 eligible for Indian citizenship. Amid a discussion over the bill, Congress and TMC MPs walked out of the Lok Sabha.

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Parliament winter session. Here are the highlights

Lok Sabha passes reservation bill

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty- Fourth Amendment) Bill is now up for voting. AIADMK opposed the bill and staged a walkout. The reservation bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha with 323 votes in favour.

Thawarchand Gehlot: This is not a hasty decision

Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot said that this is not a hasty decision. Mandal commission and Sinha commission too had taken recommendations from people and experts. The discussion on this matter has been going on since long.

Asaduddin Owaisi says the quota bill is a fraud on Constitution

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi says he opposes the reservation bill for eight reasons. "This is a fraud on Constitution and insult on Babasaheb Ambedkar. Our Constitution doesn't recognise economically-backward Have the savarnas ever faced untouchability? There is no empirical data to show the savarna people are backward," he says.

Anupriya Patel wants to know if there is a cap on reservation

Participating on the quota bill debate, Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel wants to know if there is a cap on the reservation so that the law is not misused. She also speaks about rising unemployment. INLD's Dushyant Chautala says reservations are a lollipop at a time when youth are searching for jobs. He asks the government to make the caste census data public.

Congress' Deepender Hooda says quota bill is a copy

Congress MP Deepender Hooda questions the way the reservation bill was brought in the Lok Sabha. Hooda says he doubts if there will be any beneficiary of the scheme as there will be little time to implement it. He further claims that the bill is a copy of a similar one brought by the Congress in Haryana in 2013. "It was BJP who opposed it then. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," Hooda says.

Upendra Kushwaha demands reservation in judiciary

AAP leader Bhagwant Mann says if the BJP is serious about the poor, they would have brought this Bill in the first day of the first session, and not on the last day. RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha (RLSP) seeks an all India Judicial Services and reservation in judiciary too. He suggests the Winter Session be extended for two more days so that amendments can be moved in the Bill.

SP MP Dharmendra Yadav speaks on quota bill

Speaking on the quota bill, Dharmendra Yadav of Samajwadi Party says that there are existing vacancies which need to be filled and urges the government to fill those first.

Hope quota bill is not a political gimmick to bring Modi back to power: Sule

NCP MP Supriya Sule says she welcomes the Bill but asks why it has been hurried through the House. Sule says she hopes that the quota bill is not a political gimmick to bring PM Modi back to power. She also refers to Arun Jaitley's remark that approval of states are not needed for Articles related to fundamental rights and seeks clarification.

CPI(M) MP says bill has been brought hastily, questions job scenario

CPI(M)'s Jitendra Choudhury says the party is not in-principle opposing the Bill, but is objecting to the way the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha at the last minute. "In the past, if these kind of bills are taken up, the party in power discusses with all stakeholders. But this has been done hastily," he says and asks about the creation of jobs.

BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab says quota bill must be supported in full measure

BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab says the reservation bill must be supported in full measure. "The poor people are in need of education, services and employment, irrespective of their caste," Mahtab says. He mentions how the Congress tried to introduce such a reservation, but couldn't pass the test of law. "The economic criteria will not be the same as it is today. A family may progress or come down in the economic strata. How will you identify the person, the Bill doesn't mention these," the BJD MP says.

BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab is speaking on the quota bill

BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab is putting forward his views on the quota bill. He says the House is bereft of moving any amendments to the Bill and cites the manner in which the Bill was introduced today. Mahtab says this shouldn't be the practice. "Reservation is not new in this country. Since 1932, four main instances of having affirmative action happened. The Poona Pact was the first of it. He points out that the Brahmin members constituted 45 per cent in the Constituent Assembly, while the SC was four per cent," Mahtab says.

Paswan makes three demands over General category quota

Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan makes three demands over the general category reservation. He asks for 60 per cent quota be put in 9th schedule as it will not be challenged in court. He also suggests 60 per cent reservation in private sector and Indian judicial services also. "I am confident that when Narendra Modi is PM again, my demands will be fulfilled," Paswan says.

Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas is complete now, says Paswan

Ram Vilas Paswan suggests that reservation be brought under the Ninth Schedule. "People who were opposing reservation are now part of this 10 per cent reservation. So now, they won't oppose reservation. Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas is complete now," Paswan says.

Quota bill will help 'upper caste' people who are economically backward: Paswan

Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan lists initiatives of the government on social justice, says the Opposition is unnecessarily terming the government anti-Dalit. The LJP chief says the quota bill will help the "upper caste" people who are economically backward. He says the country is more important than caste. "VP Singh was a Rajput, but he brought social justice by implementing the Mandal Commission report. Similarly, everyone must support the economically downtrodden," Paswan says.

Ram Vilas Paswan congratulates govt for 10% quota decision

TRS backs the quota bill. "Reservation is given to those who have been exploited due to caste-based system. This Bill talks about economic exploitation," TRS MP KH Muniyappa says in the Lok Sabha. Now, LJP chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan speaks on the reservation bill. Paswan congratulates the government for the decision. 

Shiv Sena MP Anandrao Adsul says his party supports quota bill

Shiv Sena MP Anandrao Adsul says his party supports the quota bill. Adsul says a large number of people (excluding the SC, ST and OBC) are backwards educationally, socially and economically. "This Bill is just a beginning. Many caste groups are demanding reservation. The rationale behind these demands was that reservation will bring development to their community," he says in the Lok Sabha. However, he questions the rationale behind bringing the quota bill at the fag end of the NDA's term.

Quota bill not about jobs but fake dreams: TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay

TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay says the quota bill is not about jobs but about misleading the youth with false hopes and fake dreams. "Will the Bill actually solve the problem of unemployment or this is just a political gimmick," he says. Highlighting the unemployment scenario, Bandyopadhyay says there are 85,000 vacancies in the Railways but over 25 million aspirants have applied for jobs. He also wonders why the Women's Reservation Bill was not taken up in the same priority and demands a White Paper on unemployment. "Why does the Government not take up the women reservation bill with the same priority as this quota bill?" the TMC leader says.

'Had PM implemented Rs 15 lakh promise, this bill wouldn't be required'

AIADMK MP Thambi Durai cites the example of Tamil Nadu, where 69 per cent reservation is being implemented and seeks enhancement of reservation to 70 per cent. "PM Modi promised Rs 15 lakh in each account. Had he implemented it, there would be no need for this Bill," he says. Raising questions on the process of implementation of the bill, the AIADMK leader says, "A person who is poor today, may earn money and become rich. This is only going to increase corruption. People may pay bribe and get a certificate that he/she is poor."

Reservation bill will be struck down by Supreme Court:Thambi Durai

Continuing his speech, AIADMK MP Thambi Durai says the reservation bill will be struck down by the Supreme Court. Taking the example of BR Ambedkar, he says despite being highly skilled, Ambedkar was humiliated on the basis of his caste. "That is why the forefathers of our Constitution took social justice as a criteria and not economy as a criteria," he says.

AIADMK MP Thambi Durai is speaking on the quota bill

AIADMK MP Thambi Durai is speaking on the reservation bill. "Why do we need reservation? Our party believes in social justice. I am a Shudra. As a Shudra, we suffered a lot and this is why the Dravidian movement fought for reservation," he says. The economically weaker section are already getting the benefits of several programmes, the AIADMK leader says.

Why 10% quota to EWS opens new front ahead of elections

The decision of the BJP-led government to amend the Constitution to provide 10 per cent quota in jobs and higher education for the poor among communities not eligible for reservation seems to have been crafted with an eye on Lok Sabha elections. It is likely to open a new front that is likely to play out in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Jaitley quotes SC, says caste is best determinant of backwardness

Quoting a Supreme Court judgment, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says caste is the best determinant of backwardness. "Similarly the 50 per cent cap on reservation was also based on Article 16(4). We want to amend Articles 15 and 16 so that the legal hurdles in providing economic-based reservation is taken care of," Jaitley says. Asking the Opposition to support the bill, Jaitley says, "If you are supporting the Bill, don't be grudging about it."

Need to bring economically backward section to mainstream: Jaitley

Continuing his speech in the Lok Sabha on the reservation bill, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says there is a need to bring economically backward section to the mainstream. "Its time to provide justice to EWS," he says. He says the bill won't affect existing quotas, assuaging the concerns of the CPI.

Arun Jaitley gives reasons behind bringing the 10% quota bill

Giving reasons behind bringing the bill, Arun Jaitley says, "Just as equals cannot be treated unequally, unequals cannot be treated equally." He says reservation was brought in to uplift those who were denied equality on the basis of birth. "The same way people who are economically deprived are also lagging behind and the government wants to uplift them," Jaitley says.

Approval of states not needed for quota bill: Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley says the approval of states are not needed for the reservation bill. He also says the phraseology is the same as caste-based reservation and urges politcal parties to think above politics regarding the issue. "This bill will be applicable to public employment as well. This bill is also applicable to all educational institutions," Jaitley says.

Quota bill will provide economic justice: Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is now speaking on the reservation bill. He says the government was committed to equality of opportunity. He says the bill will provide economic justice. "Reservation jumla was in the Congress manifesto," Jaitley says.

Send quota bill to Joint Parliamentary Committee: KV Thomas

Congress leader KV Thomas says the party supports the bill. "We support this quota bill, we are not against this. But the way it is being brought raises questions on your sincerity. My request is to send this to Joint Parliamentary Committee first," he says. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is now speaking on the reservation bill.

Quota bill will benefit the poor, irrespective of religion: Gehlot

Minister for Social Justice Thaawarchand Gehlot says the introduction of the reservation bill was proof that the Narendra Modi government was committed to its 'Sabka saath, sabka vikas' slogan. Gehlot says the bill will benefit the poor, irrespective of religion, outside the purview of reservation. He further says poor people from the general category will be provided reservation in educational institutions, Central and state government services. "States will decide who will be considered 'poor' for this purpose," the minister says.

Brahmins, Thakurs, Baniyas, Patels all will benefit: Gehlot

Calling the move historic, Thaawarchand Gehlot says former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao also was in favour of such a reservation. "While the ministry tries to help the economically deprived through several schemes, they are not adequate. Brahmins, Thakurs, Baniyas, Patels... and others who do not come under the benefits of the existing reservation will be benifitted," he says.

What is the reservation bill?

In a surprise move on Monday, the BJP-led NDA government decided to amend the Constitution to provide 10 per cent reservation for the general category EWS in direct recruitment for government jobs and admission to higher educational institutions. The 10 per cent reservation will be in addition to the existing cap of 50 per cent reservation for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, taking the total reservation to 60 per cent.

Discussion begins on reservation bill

Minister for Social Justice Thaawarchand Gehlot moved a motion to discuss the Constitution Amendment Bill to provide 10% reservation to economically backward upper castes.

Citizenship Bill passed in Lok Sabha

The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 has been passed in Lok Sabha after protests by Opposition.

Burden of Citizenship Bill will fall on entire nation: Rajnath Singh

Speaking in the Lok Sabha on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Rajnath Singh appeals to the people of Assam and says their customs, tradition, linguistics and culture will be protected by the Centre. Singh says that the burden of the Citizenship Bill will not fall only on Assam, but the entire country. "The politicians of any country do not want religious persecution," Singh says.

Citizenship Bill not biased towards any religion: Rajnath Singh

Meenakshi Lekhi of the BJP says the demographics of eastern India is changing because of illegal immigrants. Now, Home Minister Rajnath Singh rises to reply to members’ comments. Defending the Citizenship Bill, Singh says the bill will be implemented across India. "The Bill will safeguard the interests of Assam. The government ensures protection to minorities. Misinformation is being spread against the Bill. It is not biased towards any religion," Singh says.

AIDUF MP Badruddin Ajmal demands withdrawal of Citizenship bill

AIDUF MP Badruddin Ajmal demands withdrawal of Citizenship bill. "The AIDUF is an Assam-based political party. The bill has evoked strong protests in Assam. The AGP, another Assam party is also opposing the Bill," Ajmal said. Ajmal says the Bill is unconstitutional since it discriminates on the basis of religion. To this, BJP MP Bijoya Chakravarti raises concerns over the presence of illegal migrants in Assam, says Hindu population in the state is dwindling.

Citizenship cannot be granted on basis of religion: Md Salim

Opposing the Citizenship Bill, CPM MP Mohammed Salim says that citizenship can't be granted on the basis of religion. Salim had also given a dissent note to the JPC report, saying that religion, language etc. cannot be conflated with ideas of the nation. Salim says it is not a Bill, but a "manifesto". "With an eye on elections, the country is being divided. Citizenship cannot be granted on basis of religion," he says.

Govt should speak with Assam indigenous people to resolve issue: Shiv Sena MP

Shiv Sena MP Arvind Ganpat Sawant is now participating in the discussion on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Sawant says the government should talk with the stakeholders, including the indigenous people of Assam and the Asom Gana Parishad, to resolve the issue. "Shiv Sena was formed for protecting the rights of indigenous people. Now the whole world is echoing its chief’s views. (Donald) Trump is echoing Bal Sahab Thackeray’s views," he says in the Lok Sabha.

Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day

Rajya Sabha proceedings adjourned for the day. The Upper House failed to transact any business as the Samajwadi Party members protested amid reports that the CBI might quiz former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in an illegal-mining case. The Rajya Sabha will sit again tomorrow as the government has extended the session by a day to push the passage of the reservation bill.

Don't include Bangladesh in Citizenship Bill: BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab

Moving an amendment to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab says Bangladesh should not be included if Sri Lanka and Myanmar are not considered. "Don't open old fault lines," he says. Mahtab further contends that those who face religious persecution in Pakistan should be given Citizenship, but wants Bangladesh out of the list till the National Register of Citizens process is complete and Bejbaruah report is submitted.

Hindu minorities have no option other than India: BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab

Biju Janata Dal MP from Cuttack Bhartruhari Mahtab says that while Christians and Muslims had other options, Hindu minorities from neighbouring countries don't have any place to go but India. Speaking on the Citizenship Bill, Mahtab says members of the JPC had visited many parts of country like Gujarat and Rajasthan where many refugees from Pakistan and other countries had settled and were living in "wretched" conditions. He also pointed out that many people from Africa had come to India but they cannot get citizenship.

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The BJP has issued a whip to its MPs, asking them to be present in Parliament Tuesday as it seeks to push for the passage of a bill providing 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for economically weaker sections in the general category. The Congress had on Saturday issued a whip to its MPs, asking them to be present in Parliament on Monday and Tuesday.

The government has extended the Winter session of the Rajya Sabha by a day till Wednesday to push the passage of the Constitutional amendment bill that will allow 10 per cent reservation for ‘economically backward’ upper castes in government services and admission to higher educational institutions.

The move will require amending Article 16 of the Constitution to provide for reservation for economically weaker sections. The winter session of Parliament begun on December 11 and was to end on Tuesday.

With just a day left for the Winter session of the Parliament to end, Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has agreed to the government’s request and extended the proceedings by a day. So far, 16 bills have been passed by both the Houses of the Parliament.

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