New Delhi, Dec 10: Lok Sabha on Tuesday gave its crucial nod to The Constitution Amendment Bill that seeks to extend by ten years the reservation given to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
As many as 355 members voted in favour while no member voted against it. Amendments moved by opposition members were also negated. Giving out the results of division votes, Speaker Om Birla said more than two-third members have approved the Bill.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the Leader of the House, was present and participated in the voting. A constitutional amendment Bill has to be passed by a special majority that is at least two-third of the members present and voting. The statement of objects and reasons on the Bill says that, "Although the SCs and STs have made considerable progress in last 70 years, the reasons which weighed with the Constituent Assembly in making provisions with regard to the aforesaid reservation of seats have not ceased to exist".
The House witnessed debate on the possibility of alleged 'depriving' of the same rights to Anglo Indian community. Brushing aside objections and criticism of government policies from the opposition members, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Modi government is firmly committed to the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
To suggestions from some members including Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress that the Census Report of 2011 should be 'thrown away', the Law Minister said it would not be proper to dismiss the census figures on Anglo Indians, while holding it right when it came to statistics in other categories.
Through the Bill, the reservation for the SC and ST communities will be extended till January 25, 2030.
Under Article 334, these communities were given reservation in states legislatures and in the Lower House of for 70 years till January 25, 2020.
There are 84 members from the Scheduled Caste and 47 from the Scheduled Tribe communities in the Lok Sabha. In state assemblies across India, there are 614 SC members and 554 ST members.
Till date, there is a provision to nominate two members of the Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha. (UNI)