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Chhattisgarh Quota Bills: Governor Yet To Give Assent, Says CM Baghel

Over the possible legal challenges to the bills, Baghel said, “Can anyone be stopped from going to court? How can anyone presume what will happen in the court?"

CM Bhupesh Baghel
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Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday said Governor Anusuiya Uikey is yet to grant assent to two amendment bills to hike the overall reservation in the state to 76 per cent.

The state Assembly had, on December 3, passed the Chhattisgarh Public Service (Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes Reservation) Amendment Bill and Chhattisgarh Educational Institutions (Reservation in admission) Amendment Bill related to quota in government jobs and admission in educational institutions in proportion to the population of different categories.

According to the bills, the Scheduled Tribes will get quota of 32 per cent, Other Backward Classes 27 per cent, Scheduled Castes 13 per cent and four percent has been provisioned for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in public employment and admissions in educational institutions.

When asked about the delay in approval from the governor to the two quota bills, Baghel told reporters here, "We believe in the statement (earlier) issued by the Raj Bhawan (Governor House). The governor had said as soon as the bill is passed by the Assembly she will immediately give her assent to it, which has not been done yet."

Over the possible legal challenges to the bills, Baghel said, “Can anyone be stopped from going to court? How can anyone presume what will happen in the court?"

Queried whether the Bharatiya Janata Party was trying to halt reservations in the state via Raj Bhawan, the CM said, "Despite the governor having assured she will immediately give assent to the bills, it is still pending. So it can be understood what kind of indication it is."

Incidentally. senior tribal leader and state Food and Civil Supply Minister Amarjeet Bhagat had met the governor on Wednesday and requested her to give assent to the bills.

The Chhattisgarh High Court, in September this year, set aside the Raman Singh-headed state government's 2012 order to raise the quota to 58 per cent in government jobs and admissions in educational institutions observing that reservation exceeding the 50 per cent ceiling was unconstitutional.

The decision halted the recruitment process for government jobs, and also brought down the quota for STs from 32 per cent to 20 per cent, which triggered protests.

A senior Raj Bhawan official said the governor has sought opinion from legal experts and government officials to understand how the hike in reservation to 76 per cent can be defended if the two bills are challenged in the court of law.

The governor will give assent to the bills once she is satisfied with the legal opinion, the official added.

-With PTI Input

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