The Constitution (128th Amendment) Bill, 2023 was passed in the Lok Sabha on September 20 with near-unanimous support from all parties, except from the two MPs of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen — Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi and his party’s MP from Aurangabad Imtiyaz Jaleel.
The Bill was passed with 454 votes in favour and two against it. Mr. Owaisi said his party voted against the Bill to take a stand against the non-inclusion of OBC quota in the provisions of the Bill as well as the rights of minority women.
“In India, the population of OBCs is more than 50% and you are bringing a Bill to include women who are not getting representation, will you not make provisions for OBC and minority women? There have been 17 Lok Sabha polls, 699 women MPs won, how many of these were Muslim women — a mere 25. The population of Muslim women is 7% and their representation so far has been 0.7%. If you want to give representation to those who haven’t received it so far, why shouldn’t you give reservations for OBCs and minority women within that?” Mr. Owaisi said. “We did this to convey that there are these two MPs who are prepared to take a stand for the inclusion of OBCs and minority women,” he said.
Many opposition parties, including the Congress, had also batted for OBC quota during the debate on the Bill, but had voted for the government’s Bill. The Constitution (128th Amendment) Bill, 2023 now moves to the Rajya Sabha, where it will be taken up for consideration and passing on Thursday.