Ram Vilas Paswan hails new quota Bill, says GA won’t open account in Bihar

Two days after the Bill providing 10% reservation to the poor in general category was passed by both houses of the Parliament, union minister and Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday that the bill would not be affected by any opposition in courts.

Defending the constitutional status of the Bill which is yet to be signed by the President, upon which it will become law, Paswan said the Supreme Court had struck down a similar move in 1990s by the PV Narasimha Rao government, saying there was no provision for reservation on economic status and asked for constitutional amendments.

“Now, there has been a constitutional amendment. I do not think the Supreme Court will object to it. Moreover, when we return to power, we will include this reservation in the ninth schedule and then it will be beyond legal challenge,” he said, while talking to media persons.

Calling it a historic decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Paswan, who claimed his party had been demanding reservation for poor among upper castes since 2000, said that Sawarn Aayog (Commission for upper castes) was made several times, “but nobody showed the will to get it implemented.”

Paswan said the Bill was a big step towards government’s resolve of “sabka sath, sabka vikas” and would not be a cause for social confrontation. “This Bill does not disturb the existing 50 per cent reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes,” he said and urged that the government should now move ahead to provide reservation in private sector and also bring transparency in Indian judicial services.

Paswan said the Bill will help the NDA in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. “There is strong current for the NDA and everybody will be swept aside. Grand Alliance will not be able to open its account in Bihar. People are happy,” he said.

The LJP chief did not read much in SP-BSP alliance and said they will make ‘little impact on poll prospect of the NDA.”

First Published: Jan 12, 2019 15:47 IST

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