Posted On Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 09:28:19 AM
New Delhi: A Constitution Amendment Bill providing for quotas for scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) in government job promotions was passed on Monday in the Rajya Sabha with an overwhelming vote of 206 in the 245-member House.
Ten votes were polled against the proposed legislation, which was strongly opposed by UPA ally Samajwadi Party but pushed by another supporter BSP, thereby creating a difficult situation for the government.
Those who voted against the contentious Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012, were nine members of Samajwadi Party and an independent, Md Adeeb.
Being a Constitution Amendment Bill, it required a two-third majority, which was easily surpassed as 206 voted in favour in the House, where 216 members were present. All four members of Shiv Sena, which was also opposed to the Bill, were not present in the House.
The bill, which provides for reservation proportionate to SCs and STs, was approved by the Union Cabinet on September 5 against the backdrop of the Supreme Court quashing such a decision of the Uttar Pradesh government earlier this year.
Replying to the two-day debate, Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said the bill seeks to correct the “inadequacy” in representation of SCs/STs in higher positions in government jobs.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who threatened to review support to UPA on the issue, said the government should work towards providing reservation to Muslims. “We will think about continuing support," Yadav said when asked if his party would withdraw support to the government.