Winter Session 2018: Upper caste reservation, 15 other bills passed in Lok Sabha

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New Delhi | Updated: January 8, 2019 11:15:03 PM

The Lok Sabha adjourned for indefinite period on Tuesday night after a five hour long marathon debate over the constitutional amendment bill to provide 10% reservation to upper caste candidates. The debate culminated with the passage of the bill with the required two third majority.

Lok Sabha, Adjourned, Sine Die, Winter Session, Sumitra Mahajan, 124th Constitutional Amendment Bill, The Citizenship Amendment Bill, Reservation, Upper Caste, Prime Minister Modi, Congress, BJP, Live Debate, Proceedings, Lok Sabha TV, Sumitra Mahajan, Rahul GandhiIn the winter session, the Lok Sabha passed 16 government bills in the 17 sittings of the house, including an appropriation bill. (Photo source: ANI)

 

After an eventful winter session, the Lok Sabha was adjourned for an indefinite period on Tuesday night. The house has an extended sitting on Tuesday that went beyond ten in the night to pass a constitutional amendment bill to provide 10% reservation to upper caste candidates in admission and central government jobs.

In a surprise move, union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had Monday approved a constitutional amendment bill to provide 10% quota to economically weaker candidates from general category in educational institutions and central government jobs. The bill was supported by almost all the parties except RJD and DMK as no party was willing to be seen opposing the move and risk losing the support of India’s influential upper caste vote base.

In its last sitting of this session, the Lok Sabha passed the 124th constitutional amendment bill with 323 Lok Sabha members voting in favor of the bill and only three members voting against it. A constitutional amendment bill needs to be passed by both the houses by two- third majority of the members present and voting and in some special cases it requires ratification by half the state assemblies with simple majority.

In the winter session, the Lok Sabha passed 16 government bills in the 17 sittings of the house, including an appropriation bill. In this winter session, the government replied to 4,600 starred questions asked by members and 42 reports of parliamentary committees were tabled in the Lok Sabha.

Under its rule 193, the Lok Sabha also discussed the issues surrounding Rafale fighter jet deal for 8 hours and 21 minutes. The issue was raised by the Congress president Rahul Gandhi and it saw heated exchange between the opposition and treasury benches. The discussion culminated with a reply of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who used the opportunity to provide a point by point rebuttal to the allegations levelled by the opposition.

The Lok Sabha also discussed 81 matters of urgent nature under its rule 377 of the house. However, the house could not conclude the discussion on the damage caused by Cyclone Gaza and Titli in some states and the central government’s response to the devastation.

The house also witnessed persistent disruptions and commotion in the house by opposition members. Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan named 49 members under rule 374 (a) for willfully rushing to the well of the house and causing persistent obstructions in the business of the house. These members were automatically suspended for the remaining sittings of the house.

Some important bills passed by the Lok Sabha will have to face the floor test in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The sitting of Rajya Sabha was extended by a day to enable it to take up the 124th Constitutional Amendment Bill to provide reservation to upper caste candidates. However, the Triple Talaq Bill to ban an instant oral divorce practiced by some Muslims in the country is unlikely to be passed in the winter session as an united opposition has blocked it in its present form.

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