Reservation for these categories set to expire on Jan. 25, 2020.
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to extend the reservation for Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies for 10 years.
Though it is a statutory exercise, which needs to be repeated after every 10 years, there were speculations that the government is rethinking its plan to continue with the quota for the Anglo-Indian community.
In Lok Sabha, two seats are reserved for the members of the Anglo Indian community, who are nominated for the Lower House.
Sources aware of the development told this newspaper that the issue was discussed at length during the Cabinet meeting and a Cabinet note from the social justice ministry, too, is learnt to have been deliberated upon.
There is, however, no clarity whether the government has reached any conclusion. The picture is likely to become clear once the text of the Bill comes out.
Interestingly, in the current Lok Sabha, which was convened after the general elections in May this year, nobody has been nominated from the community and the column for nominated members in Lok Sabha’s website has been left blank while sitting members from all the 37 parties add up to 543, which is the total strength of Lok Sabha.
In the previous 16th Lok Sabha, there were two nominated members from the Anglo Indian community, namely George Baker and Richard Hay (both of who had later joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party).
The reservation for these categories in the Lok Sabha and assemblies was to expire on January 25, 2020, and therefore it was decided in the Union Cabinet to extend it to a further 10 years.
The government will bring a bill to extend the reservation till January 25, 2030, in the ongoing winter session.
When asked whether reservation for the Anglo-Indian community has also been extended, Union minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters that once the Bill is introduced, the details will be known.
The minister said there are 84 members from the Scheduled Caste and 47 from the Scheduled Tribe communities in Parliament.
In-state assemblies across India, there are 614 SC members and 554 ST members.