Gujarat passes bill on SC/ST quota in LS, assemblies

PTI file photo

The Gujarat assembly on Friday ratified a Constitution amendment bill passed by Parliament to extend reservation to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies by another 10 years.

The resolution seeking the nod of the house for the bill was presented by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and unanimously passed with opposition Congress supporting it at a special session of the assembly.

The special session was convened to approve the Constitution (126th) Amendment Bill passed by both houses of Parliament last month.

As per provisions, at least 50 percent of state assemblies need to ratify a Constitution amendment bill before it is sent for presidential assent.

"This bill would help us in realising Dr. B R Ambedkar's dream of achieving social equality and development of backward communities," Rupani said.

"Even after over 70 years of independence, it's rare to see a case where an SC/ST candidate fights from a general category seat and gets elected.

"However, a tribal candidate has been winning from the Bharuch Lok Sabha (unreserved) seat of Gujarat for long. This is a matter of pride and happiness for us," he said while tabling the resolution.

Shailesh Parmar (Congress) praised Ambedkar for introducing the reservation system for SC/ST members in the Lok Sabha and assemblies.

With Congress's support, the bill was passed by a voice vote.

Reservation for members of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), given for the past 70 years in Lok Sabha and state assemblies, is due to end on January 25, 2020.

At present, there are 84 SC members and 47 from the tribal communities in Parliament. In state assemblies across India, there are 614 SC members and 554 ST members. 

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