The Bill, which was introduced by Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot, was passed on the last day of the winter session of the Lower House with 323 votes in favour and just three against.
BJP ally and Union minister Anupriya Patel of the Apna Dal lent her voice to the Opposition demand for proportional reservation for OBCs, as well as B Mahtab’s doubts regarding administration of economic criteria.
The changes follow the Supreme Court’s verdict of September 26, which upheld Aadhaar but limited its use for only certain subsidies and schemes funded by the Consolidated Fund of India, and disallowed private companies from asking for Aadhaar for authentication.
Hitting back at Congress president Rahul Gandhi who had specifically targeted the Prime Minister and her over the Rafale deal, she said the agreement signed by her government was in every manner better than the “non-deal” of the UPA government which ended in a deadlock in 2014.
Nirmala Sitharaman said that Rahul had cited a “private conversation” with French President Emmanuel Macron and told the House last year that Macron had told him there was no secrecy clause regarding disclosure of the cost of each Rafale aircraft.
Calling the Bill arbitrary, A P Jithender Reddy of TRS said, “It seems that under the pretext of protecting women’s rights, the government is breaching the trust established with the minority community.”
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House after the legislators were joined by TDP MPs seeking special assistance for Andhra Pradesh’s new capital and Congress lawmakers raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal.
Rajyavardhan Rathore said that Press Council of India “has raised its concern about the authenticity and credibility of the reports and the basis on which the ranking is done and also the methodology used to rank the nations”.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and BJP president Amit Shah tore into the Congress for creating a controversy over the aircraft deal and sought an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
PAC Chief Mallikarjun Kharge said “CAG does not have their comments and there is no report” and he is not aware of any report, “neither does the CAG know about it”. He said he asked “the Deputy CAG today” since there was a PAC meeting in the afternoon.
As India’s largest consumer goods company picks up Horlicks, the biggest brand in the health food drinks sector, as part of a Rs 31,700 crore deal with GlaxoSmithKline, The Indian Express on whether Hindustan Unilever’s acquisition can help revive a flagging sector and make it “taller, stronger, sharper”