New Delhi: The government will bring in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday a Constitution Amendment Bill to grant 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections of upper castes, sources said.
In a bid to ensure passage of the politically significant legislation during the ongoing Winter session itself, a decision was also taken to extend the sitting of the Rajya Sabha by one day beyond Tuesday which was originally the last day of the session.
The Union Cabinet on Monday decided to grant 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections of the upper castes, taking the quota level to 60 per cent, surpassing the 50 per cent ceiling set by the Supreme Court.
The bill to amend the Constitution will be introduced by Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot.
The BJP on Monday issued a three-line whip to its Lok Sabha members, asking them to be present in the House during voting on Tuesday, the last day of the Winter Session of the Lok Sabha.
According to the government plan, after getting the bill passed in the Lok Sabha, it will try to get its approval by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, for which the sitting of the Upper House has been extended.
The immensely significant decision of reservation based on the economic criteria rather than social or religion basis comes just months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
It will benefit upper castes of not only Hindus but also Muslims and Christians, a government source said.
Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla, whose ministry is the nodal one for the purpose, said the reservation is meant for economically weaker upper caste sections whose annual earning is lower than Rs 8 lakhs and who possess less than 5 acres of land.
"It will not affect other reservation categories," the minister added. Among the Hindus, the castes which would benefit from the decision include Brahmin, Banya, Bhaiyya, Thakur, and Kayasthas, a source said.