Bill passed to extend quota of seats for SCs/STs
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
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.
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