New Delhi [India], August 10 (ANI): The debate on the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021 saw wide participation with many opposition members raising demands for caste-based census and removing the 50 per cent ceiling on reservation.
The demand for the caste-based census was made by Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and several other opposition members. Some BJP allies have also made a similar demand.
NCP member Supriya Sule said that recommendation for the Maratha reservation was passed with one voice in Maharashtra in 2018 and sent to the then BJP-led Government but" it was struck down (by the court) unfortunately because of the mishandling of the government".
"This 50 per cent issue will still be a big problem for us. How are they going to address this?" she asked.
The Lok Sabha later passed the bill to restore the power of states and union territories to prepare and maintain their own list of socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs).
The bill was passed by the House with 385 members voting in its favour and none against in the final division.
The opposition parties decided to "cooperate" with the government in passing the bill and suspend their protest in the House for the bill to be passed.
The opposition parties have been protesting and forcing adjournments since the beginning of the monsoon session over their demand for a probe into allegations of surveillance through Pegasus spyware and repeal of farm laws.
Replying to the debate on the bill, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar said the bill seeks to clarify that the state government and Union territories are empowered to prepare and maintain their own list of SEBCs.
The division took place through voting slips as the House has a special seating arrangement as part of precautions against COVID-19 and the automatic vote recorder could not be used.
The process of providing voting slips to members and collecting them took time.
Responding to the demands for increasing reservation beyond 50 per cent, the minister said the government understands the feelings of members. He said the courts have repeatedly emphasised this ceiling and there is a need to give attention to the constitutional aspects. (ANI)