Hindustan Times (Patna) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

NEW DELHI: The Ra­jya Sabha on Mon­day passed a con­sti­tu­tion amend­ment bill to of­fer pro­mo­tion reser­va­tions to sched­uled castes (SCs) and sched­uled tribes (STs). The Con­sti­tu­tion (117th Amend­ment) Bill was passed with 194 in favour and 10 against it in the 245-mem­ber House. A two-thirds ma­jor­ity was re­quired for ap­prov­ing the amend­ment.

Nine Sa­ma­jwadi Party (SP) MPs and one in­de­pen­dent, Md Adeeb, voted against the bill, while Shiv Sena MPs were ab­sent.

Pro­mo­tion quo­tas, which were in ex­is­tence since 1955, had been struck down by the Supreme Court in 1992. Later, Congress and NDA gov­ern­ments amended the Con­sti­tu­tion to re­new it, but the SC laid down pre­req­ui­sites, such as ad­e­quate data and ad­min­is­tra­tive ef­fi­ciency, in a 2006 judg­ment.

The bill is likely to be in­tro­duced in the Lok Sabha on Wed­nes­day. Its smooth pas­sage in the Up­per House was marked by strong sup­port from the BSP and ve­he­ment op­po­si­tion by the SP.

“We sup­ported the move and had just a few con­cerns, which have been ac­cepted by the government,” BJP spokesper­son and Ra­jya Sabha MP Prakash Javadekar said. Sa­ma­jwadi Party mem­ber Ram Gopal Ya­dav said the pro­vi­sion of “con­se­quen­tial se­nior­ity” in pro­mo­tions was wrong and di­vi­sive.

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