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PM flays Opposition for stalling OBC Bill in Rajya Sabha

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on April 12, 2017

All praise: OBC MPs of the BJP thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Parliament House in New Delhi on Wednesday for getting the OBC Bill passed in the Lok Sabha   -  PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday accused the Opposition of stalling a Bill that seeks to accord constitutional status to a commission for socially and educationally backward classes.

Addressing OBC MPs in the BJP, he said “negative politics” is behind the Opposition stalling, in the Rajya Sabha, the passage of a long-standing amendment to the Constitution to provide legitimate rights to the backward classes.

The Lok Sabha has already passed the Constitutional (One Hundred and Twenty Third Amendment) Bill, 2017, which introduces a National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes along with a Bill that repeals the 1993 National Commission for Backward Classes legislation.

The Opposition objected to the fact that the government chose to be “casual” and brought a Constitutional amendment as supplementary business in the House.

The two Bills were referred to the Select Committee by the Rajya Sabha. The Opposition insists the government has deliberately mishandled the passage of the Bill.

But the PM, addressing OBC MPs of the BJP who had gathered to thank him for the passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha, said it is “unfortunate that negative politics has blocked an amendment that seeks to provide long-awaited rights to the backward classes”.

“The Prime Minister said this Bill will ensure justice to backward sections of the society and will also help in their social empowerment, but it is surprising why this Bill was not passed in the Upper House,” BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said after the meeting.

Modi said it would have been better if the Bill had been passed in the Upper House, he added.

The PM further asked the MPs to spread the message about the Bill — make the backward classes aware of it and how it would be a game changer in their lives.

With the Rajya Sabha referring the Bill to the Select Committee, its passage has been stalled till the Monsoon session.

The committee to examine the Bill, headed by Bhupender Yadav, has been asked to submit its report by the last day of the first week of the next session.

The 25-member Rajya Sabha Select Committee includes Sharad Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav, Satish Mishra and Praful Patel.

The Bill stipulates replacing the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) with a new body, National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NCSEBC). Once it is passed, States will not be able to add or delete castes from the BC list without Parliament’s approval.

Published on April 12, 2017
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