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UP legislature ratifies extension of SC/ST reservation

Lucknow

31-December-2019

The Uttar Pradesh state legislature on Tuesday ratified the 126th amendment to the Constitution at a special one-day session extending reservations for SC and ST communities till 2030.

According to Constitution (126th) Amendment Bill, the reservation for SCs, STs and the Anglo-Indian community in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies was granted for 70 years when the Constitution came into being.

Through the bill, the reservation for only the SC and ST communities will be extended till January 25, 2030 but not for the Anglo-Indian community.

All parties in the state legislature unanimously supported the resolution to extend reservation for another 10 years, while opposition parties suggested that the reservation for the Anglo-Indian communities should also be extended.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that the Modi government, through its schemes, had ensured that the benefits reach the weakest sections of society.

He said that providing homes, toilets, free gas connections and free power connections had improved the quality of life for the marginalised sections of society.

Leader of opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary said that his party supported extension of reservation but excluding the Anglo-Indian community was not right and the Assembly should send a proposal to the Centre to include it while extending reservation.

He also said that 17 communities belonging to the Most Backward Castes (MBC) should also be included in the scheduled caste list since the matter had been pending since a decade.

Samajwadi Party legislators, incidentally, came to the Vidhan Sabha on bicycles to register their protest against NPR and CAA.

"BSP leader Lalji Varma said that his party supported extension of reservation but the BSP was concerned about growing privatisation in the country. Unless reservation is made compulsory in the private sector too, the scheduled castes and tribes would not gain from the policy," he said.

The BSP and the Congress also pleaded for the inclusion of the Anglo-Indian community in the reservation policy.

Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) leader Om Prakash Rajbhar supported the extension of reservation policy but hit out at the ruling BJP for ignoring the interests of SC/ST.

"The BJP is extending reservation but what is the use when it cannot implement the policy. How many of the 1,400 police stations have a SC/ST as its head?" he asked. Rajbhar was heckled by BJP members but he stood his ground and said, "You are only shouting because you want OBC votes but do not want to give them anything in return," he alleged.

The nine-member Apna Dal also supported the 126th amendment but expressed its displeasure at the fact that the party was not given sufficient importance in the state Assembly even though it had greater numerical strength than the Congress.

Under Article 334, the SC/ST and Anglo Indian communities were given reservation which ends on January 25, 2020.

The bill extending the reservation for another 10 years has to be ratified by all states. There are 84 members from the Scheduled Caste and 47 from the Scheduled Tribe communities in Parliament.

In state Assemblies across India, there are 614 SC members and 554 ST members.IANS