New Delhi: The bill for providing quota to members of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in promotion in government jobs was on Monday passed in the Rajya Sabha by an overwhelming majority. As many as 184 votes were cast in favour of the bill while there were eight votes against it.
Following the passage in the Upper House of Parliament, the promotion quota bill will now be sent to the Lok Sabha, the next and final test for the bill. Notably, the bill was introduced and passed in the Rajya Sabha despite the Samajwadi Party threatening to withdraw its support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
The Samajwadi Party had strongly opposed the bill in Parliament and its MPs had even staged a walkout in the Rajya Sabha expressing their objection to the bill, even as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had appealed to all the members to vote in favour of the bill.
The Constitution Amendment Bill had been aggressively pushed by BSP chief Mayawati in lieu of her support to the UPA on foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail in the Rajya Sabha. SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, on the other hand, with an eye on upper caste votes in Uttar Pradesh, had been opposing it and just a day before the bill was to be taken up by Rajya Sabha for passage, the Samajwadi Party had accused the UPA of being hand in glove with the BSP.
Meanwhile, a suggestion by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to make the bill compatible with the Article 335 of the Constitution was accepted by the government. With all the major parties having declared their support to the law, the legislation was already expected to draw requisite two thirds majority in the Upper House.