SHIMLA, Jan. 12 -- Former chief minister and sitting Kangra MP Shanta Kumar hailed the passage of quota bill for economically weak upper caste section in governemnt jobs and education as a 'historic event' and said the decision that "will fulfill the need being felt for 70 years".

In a statment issued here, the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said, "The 10% reservation to the poor in forward castes will provide much needed relief to economically backward people in these castes."He said that four decades ago, as chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, he had tried to provide reservation on economic bases through Antyodya scheme. Initially 20,000 families were selected under the scheme of whome 40% came out of poverty within a year....