National

Bill to scrap quota for Anglo-Indians arbitrary, says Ernakulam MP

Hibi Eden. File photo: H. Vibhu

Hibi Eden. File photo: H. Vibhu  

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The government has brought in legislation to discontinue the reservation for Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies without undertaking a factual study of their current economic and social status, Congress MP Hibi Eden said.

The bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday and the government expects to clear it in both houses of Parliament within this week.

“This shows the approach of the government towards the minority communities. This bill is arbitrary as it has no factual basis. The assumption that the Anglo-Indians is a well-to-do community is not based on any detailed study”, Mr. Eden said.

Mr. Eden represents Ernakulam, which has a sizeable population of Anglo-Indians.

He said that in 2013, a joint parliamentary team undertook a fact-finding mission, which was contrary to the government's claims. “In 2013, Members of Parliament visited five major cities, including Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai and Cochin. The report says that there has been no improvement in economic and social sectors of this community and reservation has to be continued.,” he added.

Mr. Eden has earlier written to President Ram Nath Kovind, appealing to him to dissuade the government from brining in the legislation. He wrote in his letter that the reservation gave the community a sense of belonging and protection. “The reservation is critical, because they are a small community and their voice needs to be heard. Seventy-five years back, when the Constitution was written, it clearly said that the reservation should be withdrawn only when their social and economic condition improves,” Mr. Eden noted.

The Congress will oppose the bill in both Houses of Parliament. Mr Eden said that even if the bill is cleared, he, along with Anglo-Indian associations, will go in for judicial review against this legislation.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 11:23:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bill-to-scrap-quota-for-anglo-indians-arbitrary-says-ernakulam-mp/article30259809.ece

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