Lok Sabha passes key bill to restore states' power to make their own OBC lists

Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a constitutional amendment bill to restore the powers of the states to make their own OBC lists, with 385 members voting in its favour and no member opposing it

Parliament of India
Parliament of India
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PTI

Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a constitutional amendment Bill to restore the powers of the states to make their own OBC lists, with 385 members voting in its favour and no member opposing it.

Some amendments moved by opposition members were rejected by the House.

The Shiv Sena brought in an amendment to the Bill but it was defeated, with 305 voting against and only 71 for it.

The Bill received Opposition support despite the rivals targeting the Centre over a range of issues, including the farmers' protest and the alleged Pegasus spyware scandal. The protests over these other matters were suspended for the bill to be passed.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury initiated the discussion on the Bill and alleged that the government had brought it with an eye on the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand early next year.

He said if the government had heeded to the Opposition's suggestions when the 2018 Bill was passed, today's exercise wouldn't have been necessary.

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021, was brought in by the Union Cabinet to undo a categorical Supreme Court ruling in May that only the Central government can prepare an OBC list. The court's stricture came during a hearing on the Maratha quota issue and cited a law passed in August 2018 to give constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes.

A constitutional amendment bill requires a special majority for passage in both Houses of Parliament.

There should be a majority of the total membership of the House and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting.

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    Published: 10 Aug 2021, 9:21 PM