Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha was passed with 165 'ayes'. (File photo)
The bill to provide 10 per cent quota in jobs and education to general category candidates who belong to economically weaker sections was passed in Rajya Sabha today. The general category reservation bill was passed by Lok Sabha on Tuesday. While many opposition parties had dubbed the government's move a "political gimmick" in the four-and-half-hour debate yesterday, most backed the bill, which, in a first, extends reservation to upper castes. The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a Constitution Amendment Bill to grant 10 percent reservation in education and government jobs to economically-weaker individuals belonging to the general category, across religions.
Here are the Highlights on the Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha:
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says a historical reform for equality and equal opportunity has come into existence.
Vice-President of India Venkaiah Naidu says the Bill fulfills long-felt need and is a step towards social cohesion. "It helps in upliftment of economically backward sections," he tweets.
"Passage of The Constitution (One Hundred And Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 in both Houses of Parliament is a victory for social justice. It ensures a wider canvas for our Yuva Shakti to showcase their prowess and contribute towards India's transformation," tweets PM Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he is glad to see such widespread support for the Bill.
Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die.
Rajya Sabha passes the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 with 165 'ayes'. The bill will provide reservation for economically weaker section of the society.
Voting on amendments going on for the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha.
Rajya Sabha passes motion for consideration of Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 with 149 votes. The bill will provide reservation for economically weaker section of the society in higher educational institutions.
Voting on Quota Bill begins in Rajya Sabha.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh says: "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."
The AIADMK stages a walkout of the Rajya Sabha opposing the Bill to provide 10 per cent reservation to the economically weaker sections among the general category.
Party leader A Navaneethakrishnan, during the debate earlier, said the Bill violated the basic structure of the Constitution. "Reservation is only for those who faced discrimination historically. The concept of reservation can be applied to a community or class but the proposed bill is for individuals."
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says 10 per cent reservation to poor in the general category will be applicable to jobs in both central and state governments.
Intervening in the debate on The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, he says the legislation gives powers to the states to decide on the economic criteria for defining the beneficaries.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal says: "The Mandal Commission provision of 10% reservation for economically weaker category was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. If a nine-judge bench held it unconstitutional, how can you amend the constitution?"
Terming the quota bill as unconstitutional and unsustainable, AIADMK leader A Navaneethakrishnan opposed the Bill. He said the Tamil Nadu government already provides reservations of 69 per cent to backward classes and the bill would impact the 31 per cent people who fall in "open quota" in the state.
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, while supporting the bill, demands reservation for OBCs be enhanced to 54 per cent, keeping in mind the increase in their population.
"When you have already decided to break the 50 per cent barrier set by the Supreme Court, I demand from the government that OBC of this country should be given 54 per cent reservation keeping in mind their population," he says. "What stopped you for bringing this bill earlier? This is not even a money bill...If you had honesty, this bill could have come earlier and could have really benefitted people."
TMC leader Derek O'Brien says: "This bill (Quota Bill) is an acknowledgement of guilt, that we haven't created any jobs in last 4 and a half years. It redefines India's poverty line of Rs 32 a day, if we look at the number of Rs 8 lakh a year, new poverty line is Rs 2,100 a day."
"I would like to assure in the House that to preserve the hopes and sentiments of the people of Assam and Northeast, our government will take necessary steps," Home Minister Rajnath Singh argued in Rajya Sabha over the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 PM after uproar over the general category quota bill.
The Opposition reached the well of the House as Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot talked about the quota bill, creating an uproar in Rajya Sabha.
"This bill will uplift the poor of the nation. This decision has been taken with thorough consideration," Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said in Rajya Sabha.
Meanwhile, PM Modi, who is addressing a rally in Maharashtra's Solapur, expressed hope that the bill providing 10 per cent reservation for the poor in the general category in jobs and education is passed in Rajya Sabha today. "The bill is a strong answer by Parliament to those spreading lies on the move," PM Modi said.
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot introduced The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenth-Four Amendment) Bill 2019 amid slogan shouting by opposition Congress over the citizenship amendment bill.
Amid uproar in Rajya Sabha over the 10 per cent quota bill, Congress asks why was there no discussion on the Rafale fighter jet deal.
Uproar in Rajya Sabha over extension of session
The opposition has slammed the government over the extension of the Winter Session of Parliament. "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 between Opposition and the government. The government is foremost responsible if the House doesn't function," Congress' Anand Sharma said in Rajya Sabha.
The quota bill was passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday with 323 lawmakers voting in support and only three voting against it. Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM had opposed the bill. Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK had walked out of the House ahead of the voting yesterday.