Patna: The Bihar Assembly on Thursday approved a proposal to increase the reservation quota for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in educational institutions and government jobs from 50 percent to 65 percent. The bills were passed unanimously by voice vote amid uproar by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over various issues.
The bills propose to double the reservation for STs from 5 percent to 10 percent and increase the reservation for SCs from 16 percent to 20 percent, EBCs from 18 percent to 25 percent, and OBCs from 12 percent to 15 percent. The move aims to ensure social justice and empowerment of the marginalized sections of society.
The passage of the bills was marred by chaos and commotion in the House, as the BJP members protested against the alleged derogatory remarks made by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav against women. The BJP members also raised slogans against the ruling Grand Alliance, accusing it of promoting anarchy and corruption. They also lifted chairs and tried to damage public property, prompting the Speaker Avadh Bihari Chaudhary to order action against them. The Speaker adjourned the House till 2 pm after the pandemonium.
The Leader of Opposition in the House, Vijay Kumar Sinha, said that the BJP wanted a debate on the amendments proposed on some bills, but the ruling party was in an aggressive mood. He alleged that the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the main partner of the Grand Alliance, was known for jungle raj and had influenced the other allies, including the Chief Minister. He claimed that Bihar was the only state where the Chief Minister had to apologize for his indecent comments about women.
However, the ruling party defended the Chief Minister and accused the BJP of having a poor record with respect to women. Minister Shravan Kumar, one of the Chief Minister’s key aides, cited the examples of the allegations leveled by wrestlers against BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and the incident in Manipur, where a BJP MLA was caught on camera assaulting a police officer. He said that the BJP had no moral right to lecture the ruling party on women’s dignity.
The CPI-M MLA Satyendra Kumar Yadav, who supported the bills, slammed the opposition for creating a ruckus inside the House on a day when a historic bill to increase reservation for SCs, STs, and OBCs was on the agenda. He said that the opposition was trying to divert the attention from the real issues of the people.