Chhattisgarh reservation bill passed amid opposition

New bill provides reservation up to 76% to reserved categories

Avdhesh MallickUpdated: Saturday, December 03, 2022, 03:03 AM IST
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Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel | PTI

Raipur: Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly unanimously voted in the favour of two reservation bills on Friday including Chhattisgarh Public Service (Reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes & Other Backward Classes) Amendment Bill- 2022 and Chhattisgarh Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Amendment Bill-2022 on the second day of the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly. The passing of the bill entitled altogether 76 per cent reservation to the reserved categories in state government jobs and academic institutions.

According to the provisions of the new bills reservation quota for the ST will be fixed as 32%, SC – 13% and OBC will get 27%.

Meanwhile, the quota for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in government jobs and admissions in government institutions has been fixed as 4 %.

While Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was tabling the both bills in the House, it faced stern objections from the MLAs of the major opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

Leader of Opposition Narayan Chandel, BJP MLAs Ajay Chandrakar, Brijmohan Agrawal questioned the timing of the presentation of bills and asked how the Assembly can enact an Act when the matter was sub-judice in the Supreme Court.

BJP MLA Brijmohan Agrawal termed the move of the Congress government unconstitutional and said, “Today it is a black day for the country, the state and country.” He also questioned the quantifiable data, on which the Baghel government claimed that it would justify its move in court.

The State government first challenged the High Court’s decision on cancellation of reservation in the Supreme Court with proper preparation and evidence, but the government wanted to reap benefits in Bhanupratappur by-polls so it brought the proposal in haste.

However, he extended his support to the bill and demanded the quota of SC reservation should be extended to 16% and EWS ceiling to 10%.

Ex-CM cum BJP senior MLA Raman Singh justified his government moves on reservation and blamed Baghel government for not putting the facts strongly in the court which advocates 32% reservation for the tribals. He also lashed at the Baghel government that the states where the special study team of top bureaucrats visited, none had ST reservation up to 32%.

Leader of Opposition Chandel also alleged the reservation bill was presented in the assembly aiming Bhanupratappur by-poll to be held on December 5. He asked the speaker Dr Charan Das Mahant to postpone today’s session and convene the session on December 9.

Meanwhile, Kondagaon MLA Mohan Markam and Industry Minister Kawasi Lakhma participated in discussions and termed the day as historical day in context of reservation bill which has provision of 32 per cent reservation to ST, 13 per cent to SC, 27 per cent to OBC and 4 per cent to EWS.

They denied opposition allegations that the bill was produced aiming at Bhanupratappur by-polls or presented in haste.

The led to heated argument in the house resulting in adjournment and later walk-out from the house.

Meanwhile, in order to justify the government initiative on the bill CM Baghel said, after the bill was passed unanimously it will be presented before the governor for her approval and later on the government will justify the government move and act in the Supreme Court with quantifiable data.

He asked the opposition to vote in the favour of bill cutting across the party lines.

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