Bihar Legislature Approves 75% Reservation Amendment Bill: Legal Milestone Pending Legislature-Governor Nod

During the fourth day of the winter session of the Bihar Assembly, the Reservation Amendment Bill 2023 was introduced and subsequently passed unanimously. The pivotal proposal embedded within the bill pertains to an augmentation of reservation coverage to 75%. Notably, the principal opposition party in the state, the BJP, has also lent its support to this legislative initiative.

Following its unanimous passage, the bill will undergo further procedural steps, including deliberation within the assembly. Once successfully cleared through the assembly, it will proceed to the governor for final approval. Subsequent to receiving the governor’s endorsement, the bill will acquire the status of law.

In the assembly session, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed the collective appeal for the central government to conduct a comprehensive caste census. Additionally, he advocated for an augmentation of reserved quotas, urging the central government to consider this proposal. Furthermore, the Chief Minister reiterated his plea for special status during the session.

The BJP raised concerns regarding the omission of EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) reservation in the bill. In response, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Chaudhary clarified that the EWS reservation would be implemented through a subsequent legislative act. This ensures that the EWS reservation remains in effect as previously established.

In addition to the Reservation Amendment Bill, other legislative measures were introduced, including the Bihar Secretariat Service Revision Bill 2023 and the Bihar Goods and Services Tax Second Amendment Bill-2023.

Tensions flared during a heated exchange between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Jitanram Manjhi in the assembly. Manjhi opposed the reservation bill, prompting the Chief Minister to interject, stating that Manjhi ascended to the position of Chief Minister due to his own oversight.

Proceedings Were Adjourned After a Morning Uproar

Following a tumultuous start to Thursday morning’s proceedings in the Legislative Assembly, the BJP initiated a commotion over the Chief Minister’s statements related to sex education. BJP MLAs staunchly demanded the Chief Minister’s resignation, leading to a heated exchange and chaotic scenes.

Opposition members converged in the well of the assembly, vociferously raising slogans. Notably, BJP women MLAs Bhagirathi Devi and Nikki Hembram, along with two other women MLAs, presented papers to the Assembly Speaker, accentuating their protest. In response to the unruly conduct, the Speaker affirmed that appropriate action would be taken against the protesting MLAs.

The intensity of the disruption prompted the adjournment of House proceedings until 2 pm. Within the assembly, a confrontational altercation ensued between BJP MLAs and ML MLA Satyendra Yadav, further exacerbating the discord in the legislative session.

BJP MLAs staged a demonstration before the proceedings of the House began.

RJD and BJP MLAs Engage in a Fight Outside the House

A clash erupted between BJP MLA Kundan Kumar and RJD MLA Vijay Kumar Mandal outside the legislative assembly. The confrontation escalated into a heated argument, primarily revolving around the issue of reservation. During the exchange, RJD MLA Vijay Kumar Mandal emphasized the significance of BP Singh as a leader of the Mandal community, praising him as a great hero. Mandal further alluded to the historical context, noting that when BP Singh implemented the Mandal Commission, there was a shift in focus towards the temple issue. He mentioned the involvement of leaders like Advani in the temple movement and expressed the view that protests tend to emerge when addressing the concerns of the underprivileged.

There Was a Commotion Before the Proceedings

Before the commencement of the legislative proceedings, BJP MLA Hari Bhushan Thakur Bachaul continued his protest outside the assembly for the fourth consecutive day. The protest encapsulated various demands, including the promotion of employees from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, a cessation of fund exploitation in the Agriculture Road Map, and a resounding call for the Chief Minister’s resignation.

Amidst the demonstration, BJP MLAs vociferously raised slogans, denouncing the imparting of sex education and expressing discontent with the perceived inefficacy of the government. The rallying cry emphasized the contention that the current administration is deemed ineffective by the protesting members.

Nitish Kumar Has Offered an Apology for This Statement

Nitish Kumar has issued an apology for his remarks on sex education made during the Legislative Assembly session on Wednesday. Kumar expressed regret, stating, “I apologize if my statement has caused any distress. I condemn my own words. I feel a sense of shame. Emphasizing the significance of education in population control was my sole intention in discussing changes in population growth.”

The CM Stated This in the Rationale for His Statement

In justifying his statement, the Chief Minister presented various statistics during the Assembly session. He highlighted a significant reduction in the percentage of children under 6 years in the state, dropping from 18.46% in 2011 to 13.6%. Furthermore, the fertility rate in Bihar exhibited a noteworthy decrease, declining from 4.3% to 2.9% in the past year. The Chief Minister underscored the pivotal role of girl education in population control, emphasizing the state’s commitment to promoting education for girls as a key component of their strategy.

Niyati Rao

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