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Narendra Modi questions opposition over stalling of OBC Bill in Rajya Sabha

LiveMint logoLiveMint 12-04-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday slammed opposition parties for stalling a bill that seeks to accord constitutional status to the OBC commission, questioning why they stopped its passage in the Rajya Sabha when it aims to benefit backward castes.

Modi was addressing the OBC members of Parliament (MPs) of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who had gathered to thank the Prime Minister for the passage of the bill in Lok Sabha which seeks to create National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NCSEBC), with judicial powers and constitutional status.

“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, quoting Modi, after the meeting.

The Prime Minister said it would have been better if this bill was passed in the Upper House, he added. Modi also asked the MPs to spread the message about the bill and make backward classes aware about it and how it would be a game changer in their lives.

The Rajya Sabha had on Tuesday referred the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-third Amendment) Bill, 2017, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, to the Select Committee after opposition forced the government.

The committee to examine the bill will be headed by BJP member Bhupender Yadav. It 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.

According to the bill, the new body NCSEBC will replace the National Commission for Backward Classes. Once the bill is passed, states will not be able to add or delete castes from the backward classes’ list without Parliament’s approval.

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