Maharashtra Legislature ratifies bill to extend SC/ST quota

(Eds: Adds details) Mumbai, Jan 8 (PTI) Maharashtra Legislature on Wednesday unanimously ratified the Constitution (126th) Amendment Bill, which proposes to extend quota to SC/STs in Lok Sabha and state assemblies by another 10 years.

A special one-day session of the legislature was held to ratify the Constitution Amendment bill, passed by Parliament on December 11.

The resolution to ratify the bill was moved in the legislature by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

In the Assembly, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis supported the resolution.

Thackeray and Fadnavis saidthe scheduled castes and scheduled tribes have made considerable progress in the last 70 years and there is a need toretain theinclusive character as envisioned by the founding fathers of the Constitution.

In the Council, Suresh Dhas of BJP, Bhai Jagtap of Congress and Jayant Patil of PWP said they wanted to speak on the issue, but Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar did not allow them to do so.

'Parliament has already cleared the bill and the state also needs to do. There is no need to discuss it any further,' Nimbalkar told the Upper House and asked members not to insist on speaking on the bill.

The joint sitting of the Legislature began with an address by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. The draft of his speech was approved by the state Cabinet on Tuesday.

In Maharashtra, there are five SC and four ST Lok Sabha constituencies. The state also has 29 SC and 25 ST Assembly seats. PTI MR ND VT VT VT