Congress set to gain from tribal quota bill in Bhanupratapur bypolls

The state Assembly passed an amendment bill taking the quota in the state to a 76% with the tribal reservation being raised to 32%.

Published: 04th December 2022 08:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2022 08:56 AM   |  A+A-

Congress flag. (File photo)

Image used for representational purpose only. (File photo)

RAIPUR: The ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh believes the party’s prospects to win the Bhanupratapur bypolls will get a boost with the passing of the reservation amendment bill in the Assembly on Friday. With AAP and the regional political party of Jogi (JCC-J) not in the fray in the ST-reserved constituency, the contest is between the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP.

The state Assembly passed an amendment bill taking the quota in the state to a 76% with the tribal reservation being raised to 32%. The last day of campaigning at Bhanupratapur saw senior leaders from both Congress and BJP, including CM Bhupesh Baghel and former CM Raman Singh, sweating it out during hectic canvassing. The by-poll is schedule for December 5. The by-poll was necessitated following the death of sitting Congress MLA and deputy Speaker Manoj Mandavi on October 16. Congress candidate Savitri has an apparent advantage due to sympathy votes.

BJP state president Arun Sao said the Bhupesh government intentionally brought the bill ahead of the by-poll for political gains. “It was after the BJP’s agitation that the Congress was compelled to bring the quota bill but their intention was mistrustful. The ruling party didn’t present the case strongly and effectively following which the high court struck down the earlier government’s decision on 58 percent reservation. The special session was called with the obvious objective keeping by-poll in mind”, said Sao.

The tribal quota was slashed from 32% to 20% following the order of the Chhattisgarh high court in September this year. In 2012, the BJP regime led by Raman Singh government raised the quotas up to 58% reservation (including 32% for the ST) in educational institutions and government jobs.

However, Congress retorted, saying that the party has always remained genuinely concerned for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes and for this reason, the party moved the Supreme Court on the issue of tribal reservation and also brought a bill to the Assembly to pass it unanimously. “The BJP’s lackadaisical approach reflected their intent as during the six years of their rule till 2018 the party didn’t act swiftly in support of reservation”, Baghel said.

Congress hoping for winning streak
Chhattisgarh has witnessed four Assembly by-polls after the Congress formed the government in December 2018 and the party won in all of them. The Bhanupratapur is the one that the Congress will seek to continue its winning streak, said Sushil Anand Shukla, Congress spokesperson. The political experts believed the reservation bill passed might possibly impact the voters’ mood in the reserved constituency.

India Matters


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