A Constitutional amendment bill seeking to extend by another 10 years reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
The Bill also seeks to extend nomination of Anglo-Indian communities to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies by
another 10 years.
The Constitution (109th Amendment) Bill 2009 moved by Law Minister M Veerappa Moily seeks to extend the reservation beyond January 25, 2010 when the time period of 60 years under Article 334 of the Constitution lapses.
"Although the SCs/STs have made considerable progress in the last 60 years, the reasons which weighed with the
Constituent Assembly in making provisions with regard to reservation of seats and nomination of members have not ceased to exist," the statement of objects and reasons of the amendment bill said.
It was, therefore, proposed to continue this reservation and nomination for another 10 years, it said.
As there was an amendment to the Bill by the government, it was passed by a division of votes with none of the members opposing the provisions.
Being a key bill, several political parties, including the ruling Congress, had issued a three-line whip to its members to be present in the House and vote in its favour.
The SC/ST quota in the legislature is given on the basis of proportion to their population. Besides, President can
nominate two members belonging to Anglo-Indian communities to the Lok Sabha.