President Ram Nath Kovind expressed his consent to the bill providing 10% reservation quota in jobs and educational institutions to economically weaker upper caste. His approval followed days after it was passed in both the houses with appreciable votes.
The bill faced several questions, if not protest, from the opposing parties. Congress said that the bill was passed in a haste in the dawn of the Lok Sabha elections by the Modi government. Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot, in a nearly eight-hour-long debate in the Rajya Sabha, asked the Congress how else it would have kept the promise of helping the poor of the general category, emphasizing the benefit of the nation as the ultimate goal. He didn’t fail to remind the oppositions that the quota of the SC, ST and OBC won’t be affected by this amendment.
While the process to provide jobs to the SC, ST and OBC is a job underway, now the poor of the general category will be benefited too by this bill who so far deprived had been. However, Congress and other parties argued about the drying of government jobs and the weak economy of the nation allowing the amendment to benefit the poor. Though that is no reason an amendment should not be brought in to benefit the deprived, the Modi government’s move was received well by the nation.
The 124th amendment was passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday and in Rajya Sabha a day later, with more than a two-third vote in both the houses. The legislation will be known as the Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019. The amendment will be a blessing for the poor section of the upper caste, i.e. for people whose family income is less than eight lakhs per annum and/or less than five acres of agricultural land.