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Himachal Pradesh, Goa, U'khand ratify Bill extending SC/ST quota

Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Ukhand ratify Bill extending SC/ST quota
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Shimla/Dehradun/ Panaji/Mumbai: The Assemblies of Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Uttarakhand in their special one-day session on Tuesday ratified the bill that extends reservation for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies by another 10 years.

Meanwhile, A special one-day session of the Maharashtra legislature will be held on Wednesday to ratify the Constitution (126th) Amendment Bill. The joint sitting of both Houses will begin with an address by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, the draft of the speech being approved by the state Cabinet on Tuesday.

The Constitution (126th) Amendment Bill had already been passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on December 10 and 12, respectively. Later, it was sent to states for ratification as it requires the consent of at least 50 per cent of the state assemblies before implementation.

Replying to the discussion on the ratification motion, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said all members of the House supported the bill and there was no need to discuss various issues pertaining to history.

If the Congress legislators say their party had done a lot for Dalits, they should also admit that Pakistan was also created by Congress, he said.

The CM said Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Rajiv Saizal spoke very well on the issue.

Referring to Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri, the chief minister said he was not against the discussion on the issue but presumed that all the members would be in favour of the ratification, which was why he had fixed the meeting from 2 pm onwards.

Reacting to Congress MLA Asha Kumari, Thakur admitted that some discrimination against Dalits had existed not only in Chamba but in some other parts of the state as well. Dalits are still served food in separate queues in some parts, he opined.

A lot of positive changes have taken place but more changes are required for bringing in equality, he added.

Not only that, Dalits should have gone forward beyond the upper castes by now so that reservation would not have been required, he said.

Earlier, the chief minister moved the motion for ratification of the bill after it was tabled by Assembly Secretary Yash Paul Sharma.

Earlier while presenting the motion, Thakur said that the Constitution provides reservation for members of SC/ST communities in Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies of states.

The provision was included for 70 years since the enactment of the Constitution on January 26, 1950. Hence, it is scheduled to expire on January 25, 2020. The bill seeks to extend the reservation till January 25, 2030, he added.

Leader of Opposition Agnihotri supported the ratification motion but raised questions on the brief address by the governor.

Goa Assembly too ratified the constitutional amendment bill that extends reservations to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies by another 10 years.

Speaker Rajesh Patnekar disallowed the adjournment notice submitted by the opposition parties on the Mahadayi water diversion issue, saying one-day session of the Assembly was called by the state governor for ratifying the bill for extending the SC/ST quota in legislatures.

Chief Minister tabled the constitutional amendment bill which was unanimously passed by the House.

Some of the MLAs, including state Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar, wanted to discuss the bill in the House but the Speaker said the session was only for its ratification.

"It is just a renewal and ratification, there is no need for discussion," he said.

He disallowed the adjournment notice submitted by the opposition on the Mahadayi diversion issue, saying, "Members can raise the issue and discuss on various parliamentary devices. The matter is urgent only if it is of very recent occurrence, this matter is not of recent occurrence."

"This is a special session called for a central government's amendment, so I disallow the adjournment notice," he said.

The Uttarakhand Assembly passed a resolution ratifying a constitution amendment bill extending reservation for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in legislatures for 10 years. The state Assembly unanimously passed the resolution ratifying the legislation during its one-day special session convened for the purpose.

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