New Delhi: The Union cabinet on Thursday discussed dissolution of the Jharkhand state assembly, approved the inclusion of three welfare schemes for the minorities and proposed a 50% reservation for women in urban local bodies.
“The cabinet discussed the dissolution of Jharkhand assembly. The date for dissolution will be announced once the President (Pratibha Patil) gives her consent,” information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni said.
State of affairs: Home minister P. Chidambaram (left) with Jharkhand governor K.Sankaranarayanan in Ranchi on Thursday. PTI
Jharkhand has been under President’s rule after Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren quit the chief minister’s post on 19 January. No other party or alliance has since staked claim to form the state government.
Later, addressing reporters on the decisions of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Union home minister P. Chidambaram said the Jharkhand assembly would be dissolved in the next few days. “Talks are on with the Election Commission,” he said.
The cabinet also proposed moving a constitutional amendment Bill for increasing reservation for women in urban local bodies from about 30% to 50%.
“Increased representation of women is likely to yield significant benefits in terms of higher priority to women in critical areas of urban governance and service delivery such as water supply, sanitation, solid waste management, education and health, etc.,” the Press Information Bureau said in a statement.
Patil, in her address to the joint session of Parliament in June, had mentioned more reservation for women in urban local bodies.
The cabinet also decided to include three existing schemes in the Prime Minister’s new 15-point programme aimed at the welfare of minorities. These include the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns, and Urban Infrastructure and Governance.
The 15-point programme executes and monitors the flow of funds meant for certain schemes to areas where minority concentration is high.