Promotion quota bill to be moved in RS today

In a move that could well put the agitating Opposition in a fix over its stalling Parliament, the government on Tuesday cleared an amendment bill providing reservation in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Central and state government jobs.

As reported first in this newspaper, this bill — to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha Wednesday — will force all parties to take a position on the floor of the House.

Moving swiftly to circumvent a Supreme Court order, the Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved proposals to amend clause 4 of Article 16 and Article 335 of the Constitution to remove the term “inadequate representation” and“efficiency of government officials with respect to SCs/STs” respectively to justify reservation in promotions.

This paves the way for the bill’s introduction in Parliament, as demanded by most parties, barring the Samajwadi Party. Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the bill will be introduced “for consideration and passage” in the Rajya Sabha at 12 noon or 2 pm Wednesday.

The former Mayawati government in UP had provided reservation benefits to SCs/STs in promotions in government jobs. But the Allahabad HC struck down that decision as unconstitutional, and this was later upheld by the Supreme Court.

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