Punjab Vidhan Sabha on Friday ratified a bill to extend reservation to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha, and state legislatures for another 10 years.
Moving a resolution under Article 38 of the Constitution on the concluding day of the two-day of special session to ratify the Constitution (126th Amendment) Bill, 2019, extending reservation for SCs and STs in Lok Sabha and state assemblies by another 10 years, the Chief Minister pointed that the founding fathers of the Constitution, led by Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, had provided a term of 10 years of reservation for SCs and STs.
He said that the reservation had been extended by the successive Union Governments since then.
Notably, the reservation for the SCs, and STs, given for the last 70 years in Lok Sabha and state assemblies, was due to end on January 25, 2020.
The Parliament, only recently, passed a Constitution Amendment Bill in this regard and it has to be ratified by at least 50 percent of the assemblies before it becomes a law.
There are 84 members belonging to the Scheduled Caste and 47 from the Scheduled Tribe communities in the Parliament. In assemblies, there are 614 SC members and 554 ST members.
Chief Minister said that despite improvement in the socio-economic status of these communities over the last 70 years aided by anti-discrimination policies and reservation in political representation and jobs, they still lag behind on several parameters.
“As a result, there is a strong case to extend the reservation to achieve the goal of development of the poor and downtrodden sections of the society,” he said.
“I am aware that there may be many other issues concerning development of SCs and my government is fully committed to them. But today, this resolution may be adopted unanimously without any second thought,” asserted Capt Amarinder.
He also underlined the need for all to collectively renew their commitment to the welfare and upliftment of the groups through proper education, training and representation in jobs.
Soon after, the resolution was passed by the Assembly “unanimously” without any debate though some of the members wanted to speak on the same.