New Delhi: 

The ongoing winter session of the Rajya Sabha has been extended by a day till Wednesday as the Centre hopes to push through a Constitutional amendment bill that will introduce a 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections under the general category. Coming months before the general elections, the proposed bill was approved this afternoon at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The bill is expected to be introduced in the Lok Sabha tomorrow by Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot.

Government sources said the bill will involve an amendment to the Constitution’s Article 15 and 16, where fresh sections will be added.

A constitution amendment bill needs to be passed with two-thirds majority of the house. While the government has the numbers in the Lok Sabha, it is the opposition that has the upper hand in the upper house.  

So far, several political parties have brushed off the centre’s move as a pre-election gimmick.

In Bihar, opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav said, “If they are giving 10% reservation for 15% population, they will have to give 90% quotas for the rest… why don’t they reveal the caste census”.

The Congress, however, was cautious. “Even we have said in all our manifestos to give reservation, so it is part of our promises too,” said PL Punia.

“I will be very happy if the weaker sections get the job.But my question is, in the name of so called election, can a government cheat the people or cheat the unemployed youth,” said West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.


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