Lok Sabha clears 10% quota bill, to be tabled in Rajya Sabha today
New Delhi, Jan 8: Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a Bill for providing 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections among unreserved categories by an overwhelming majority.
As many as 323 members voted in support of the bill, which seeks to amend Article 15 and 16 of the Constitution to enable reservation for the "economically weaker" sections in the general category, which had so far been kept out of the quota ambit. Three members voted against the bill.
Among the opposition parties, the Samajwadi Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Trinamool Congress, the Left and the Congress said they would support the bill.
The bill, which, in a first, will extend reservation to upper castes, is likely to be presented in Rajya Sabha today. Rajya Sabha session has been extended till Wednesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi were present in the Lower House when the bill was passed.
The proposed reservation will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation enjoyed by the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, and will take the total reservation to 60 per cent.
Among the major castes to benefit from the proposed law are Brahmins, Rajputs (Thakurs), Jats, Marathas, Bhumihars, several trading castes, Kapus and Kammas among other Upper Castes.
The ruling BJP hopes that the bill will help consolidate the general castes in its support as it begins campaign for the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in April-May.