Bill passed to extend quota of seats for SCs/STs
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 04, 2009, 20:59
New Delhi: Parliament on Tuesday approved a Constitutional amendment bill seeking to extend by another 10 years reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

The Constitution (109th Amendment) Bill 2009, passed by Rajya Sabha yesterday, was today approved by Lok Sabha with 375 members voting in favour, one opposing it and another abstaining.

The Bill seeks to extend the reservation beyond January 25, 2010 when the time period of 60 years under Article 334 of the Constitution lapses and also to extend nomination of Anglo-Indians to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies.

"Although the SCs/STs have made considerable progress in the last 60 years, the reasons which weighed with the Constituent Assembly in making provisions with regard to reservation of seats and nomination of members have not ceased to exist," the statement of objects and reLons of the amendment bill, moved by Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said.

Moily said of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha, SCs had 79 and STs 41. Similarly, of the 3,961 seats in the state assemblies, SCs have 543 and STs 527.

Calling for a "change of heart" in society towards SCs and STs, Moily said, "We need to travel more distance to ensure they join the mainstream. We must practice inclusive politics and not exclusive politics...fragmented politics."

Participating in the discussion, Arjun Munda (BJP) said when the idea of reservation for SCs/STs was mooted in the Constituent Assembly the purpose was to give them an opportunity to join the mainstream.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, August 04, 2009, 20:59

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