New Delhi: Calling the Bill to provide ten per cent reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections as a 'sixer' by the Narendra Modi Government in its 'slog overs', Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said "many more" were yet to come.
Intervening in the debate in the Rajya Sabha on the Constitution 124th amendment Bill that seeks to provide reservation to EWS in jobs and education institutions, Mr Prasad, taking a jibe at TMC MP Derek O'Brien, used the analogy of cricket to explain the timing of the bill.
"Cricket mein chhakka slog over mein lagta hai, jab match close hota hai tab lagta hai. Agar aapko issi pe pareshani hai, to yeh pehla chakka nahi hai, aur chakke aane wale hain. (In cricket, a sixer is hit in the slog overs, it is hit when the match is about to end. If you are concerned about this, then let me tell you this is not the first sixer, many more are yet to come),''Mr Prasad said.
While defending the quota bill, Law minister asserted that there are people from the Brahmin and Rajput communities who are poor as well and the government is within its right to think about them.
''Brahmins and Rajputs are also labourers. It is true that people from upper castes are also poor. They deserve opportunities. If our government is thinking of their welfare, why does it need to be debated? You didn't implement the decision when you were in power, then I don't understand why we are being questioned," he said. On apprehensions by members that the Bill does not provide for consultation from states, he said it was clearly mentioned in the constitution as to the masters on which the states were to be consulted. "If the matter is about fundamental rights, there is no need to get the nod of the state assemblies,'' he said.
On the members stating that the Supreme court had fixed the reservation percentage at 50 per cent, he said the limit of 50 per cent had not been put by the constitutuion, only by the Supreme court. ''Even the Supreme court said the 50 per cent limit only applies for the SC/STs and OBCs,''Mr Prasad said.
"This bill is changing two articles of Fundamental Rights - Article 15 and adding clause 6 to Article 16. The biggest thing about the bill is that we are not interfering in existing reservation for SC/STs. It will remain as it is," he said. Asking the opposition parties to wholeheartedly support the Bill rather than supporting it with riders, he said, "Other parties say we support the bill but... Why this but? If you support, support us wholeheartedly. We agree that we were late in introducing the bill, but we brought it in the right manner. Today is a historic day. The Houses are creating history. If we are creating history, then why is support halfhearted?" UNI