Bill to give states power to make OBC list in Lok Sabha, Opposition to support

New Delhi : A Bill that restores states’ right to make their own OBC lists was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday.

Opposition parties, which have been opposing introduction of all other Bills, have agreed to support this legislation.

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill 2021 was introduced by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar, as several Opposition members continued standing near the Speaker’s podium.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said all Opposition parties have agreed to support the Bill as it pertains to welfare of the people.

He also said that when The Constitution (One Hundred Second) Amendment Bill was passed in Parliament Opposition had cautioned government against taking away powers of the states.

“When the Amendment Bill was passed, we had said do not take away rights of states. They did not listen to us,” he said slamming the government.

The Constitution (One Hundred Second) Amendment Bill, which was passed in August 2018, gave constitutional status to the National Commission of Backward Classes. However, it also took away the authority of state governments.

On May 5, Supreme Court in a judgment said only Center has the right to update the OBC list. The Bill was then brought to nullify the effect of the order and restores the powers of the states to identify Backward Class groups.

The decision by Opposition parties to back the Bill was announced by Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge after a meeting of 15 Opposition parties. This is even as the protests demanding debate of Pegasus snooping controversy, farm laws, and other issues, continue.

The parties that attended the meeting on Monday morning included Congress, DMK, Trinamool Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena, Samajwadi Party, CPI(M), RJD, AAP, CPI, National Conference, IUML,LJD, RSP and KC(M).

A Constitution Amendment Bill has to passed by both Houses of Parliament with two-third majority.