Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
The Bill providing 10 percent quota for economically weaker sections in the general category was passed by the Lok Sabha with 323 in favour and 3 against on 8 January 2019. The government will now table the Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
Shortly after the Bill was passed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it a "landmark moment in our nation's history", adding, "We are resolutely committed to the principle of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'.”
Parties across the board extended their support to the government's move to provide 10 percent reservation in education and government jobs to economically weaker sections, even as the Opposition called it "election stunt" ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress said it supported the Bill, but doubted the government's intentions. It said the move was merely a "poll gimmick" aimed at political gains in the upcoming elections.
Various parties, including the BSP, SP, TDP and DMK, also called it the BJP's poll stunt, but welcomed the move.
BJP president Amit Shah described the bill as a "gift" by the Narendra Modi government to the youth from poor families, saying it will open the door for their 'golden future'. Taking on the Opposition over the issue, he said it was a lesson for other political parties who had been doing appeasement politics for years.
Senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh described the passage of the Bill as being in the "national interest".
“This is a very historic Bill. Those people who couldn’t get the benefits of reservation till now will be benefited. It had been a demand of people for a long time. This Bill has been brought in the interest of the nation. I’m assured that it’ll be passed in Rajya Sabha also.”Rajnath Singh, Home Minister
Echoing similar sentiments, BJP's ally LJP supremo Ram Vilas Paswan said this is in line with the Modi government's philosophy of 'sabka sath sabka vikas' (together with all, development for all).
"Now the situation has changed in society, there are poor among people from upper caste they should get reservation," he said.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said his party supported the bill, but no jobs were being created.
"Modi ji, the Congress will support reservation for the poor. But, who and how will people get the benefit of reservation in jobs when no jobs are being created?" he said on Twitter.
(With inputs from PTI)