187-0: Bill to revive states’ energy on OBC record handed

With a unanimous verdict from Rajya Sabha, Parliament on Wednesday handed the Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill, 2021, giving again states the ability to make their very own record of OBCs by figuring out and notifying socially and economically backward courses (SEBCs).

The Bill, cleared by Lok Sabha on Tuesday, was handed in Upper House by division vote — 187 in favour and none votes in opposition to.

A constitutional modification must cross with majority of the overall power of the House, and never lower than a two-third majority of MPs current.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi later tweeted, “Passage of Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill in both Houses is a landmark moment for our nation. This Bill furthers social empowerment. It also reflects our Government’s commitment to ensuring dignity, opportunity and justice to the marginalised sections.”

Even although no member objected to the Bill, the Opposition raised sure issues about absence of a caste census and a requirement to take away the 50-per cent cap on states for reservations. Opposition MPs stated the Constitutional modification wouldn’t have been vital had the federal government addressed their issues in 2018.

Congress’s Abhishek Singhvi stated the Bill was the federal government’s try at undoing its personal mistake. He stated, “When the 102nd Amendment Bill was referred to the select committee in 2018, the committee had expressed concerns about possibility of the amendment being read as an encroachment of state powers. The ministry at the time said there were no such intention. The change proposed by the committee (clarifying that the amendment does not take away states’ power to maintain a state OBC list) was not accepted. When the Bill came to the House for discussion, many MPs pointed out the same issue and asked for clarification. Even then the government refused to make changes.”

“The Supreme Court’s verdict is based on the loss (of) wording of your 2018 amendment,” he stated. Singhvi stated the federal government can’t first make a mistake, rectify it, and them congratulate itself for doing so.

TMC’s Derek O’Brien stated: “The government’s incompetence is deep. They passed the GST Bill, but later made 376 changes to it in 10 months. For farm Bills, too, they didn’t listen to us…”

Almost all Opposition MPs agreed that the Bill could be rendered ineffective with out the federal government eradicating the cap on 50% reservation, and to do this, a caste-census is required, they stated. Without these two steps, the 127th modification would solely quantity to paying lip service to the OBC trigger, they argued.

“This move is of no use to state governments unless you remove the 50 per cent ceiling on reservations…. We need to know how many people in backward classes and castes are educated, how many of them are employed in government jobs, and how many own houses. Only then can the government identify beneficiaries of this amendment,” SP’s Ramgopal Yadav stated.

RJD’s Manoj Jha, AIADMK’s M Thambidurai and JD(U)’s Ramnath Thakur made comparable demand for caste census.

Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut stated the credit score for the 127th modification shouldn’t go to the Centre however to the Maratha Andolan.

NCP’s Vandana Chavan additionally supported the Bill however stated it’s “not in the form that would assure justice to people or class of citizens it is meant for”.

For BJP, the defence was led by Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. He stated that whereas OBC reservations have been introduced in in 1990, it was not applied till 2008-09. When historical past is researched, he stated, it will likely be “black and white clear”.

Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge known as it a “very good Bill”. But, he stated, BJP leaders, together with Bhupendra Yadav, who spoke earlier than him, had mentioned the Bill much less and attacked the Congress extra.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar thanked all members for the unanimity on the Bill. “We can belong to different parties, have different ideologies, different commitments, but even after that…today the members put forward their ideas”.

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