The Jharkhand Assembly on Friday passed a Bill granting 77% reservation in state government jobs for members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Sections, PTI reported.

The state Cabinet had approved the Bill on September 14, and the proposed law was passed on Friday during a special session of the Assembly.

Jharkhand currently has 60% reservation in state government jobs for the socially and economically weaker sections of the society. The new Bill increases reservation for the Scheduled Tribes to 28% from 26%, Other Backward Classes to 27% from 14% and Scheduled Castes to 12% from 10%.

The state government said it will request the Centre to include the Bill in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, which would protect it from judicial review.

The proposed law was passed amid protests by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren said that the Bill was a “suraksha kawach”, or safety shield, for citizens. He also said that BJP was creating an uproar in the House as it was under fear and anxiety due to the milestones achieved by his government.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the Jharkhand Assembly also passed a Bill to use land records from 1932 as the basis for a domicile in the state, according to PTI.

The Jharkhand Definition of Local Persons and for Extending the Consequential, Social, Cultural and Other Benefits to Such Local Persons Bill, 2022, grants the domicile of Jharkhand to those who have names of their ancestors in the land records of 1932 or before.

The special session of the state Assembly is being held amid a standoff between Soren and the BJP, which has sought the chief minister’s removal on the grounds that he allotted a mining lease in his own name while holding the mining portfolio.

Media reports had said in August that the Election Commission has recommended that state governor Ramesh Bais should disqualify Soren as an MLA. However, the recommendation was not made public and the governor did not take any action.

On October 27, Bais said that he had sought a “second opinion” on whether to disqualify Soren as an MLA. He claimed that an “atom bomb could explode any time in Jharkhand”, in an apparent reference to his pending decision in the matter.