The Rajya Sabha has taken up the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021 for consideration and passing. The Bill allows states and Union Territories to prepare their own list of OBC.
Moving the bill, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr Virendra Kumar said it will empower the state in preparing their own OBC lists so that various communities can be given social and economic justice. He said, the legislation will also help strengthen the federal structure of the country. Dr Kumar reiterated government’s commitment for the welfare of OBC community citing recent decision of allowing 27 percent OBC quota in NEET.
Initiating the discussion, Abhishek Manu Singhvi asked the government to conduct caste census and questioned why it is shying away from it. He said some BJP alliance states have also made similar demand. He said this Bill has been brought to correct the mistake made by the Centre in 2018 with regard to making OBC list. Participating in the discussion, Sushiol Modi of BJP questioned the Congress for not giving Constitutional status to OBC Commission during its regime. He said the steps have been taken for the welfare of OBC community in the governments supported by the BJP at Centre. Mr. Modi also listed out several measures taken by the Narendra Modi government for the upliftment of SC, ST and OBC as well as EWS section. Prasanna Acharya of BJD and Darek O Brien of TMC also supported the OBC Bill.
Tiruchi Shiva of DMK supported the bill and demanded the government to remove the cap of 50 per cent reservation. He urged the government to conduct caste census in the country.
TRS MP Banda Prakash, while supporting the legislation demanded the government of conducting census of backward community.
A Navaneethakrishnan of AIADMK extended his support to the bill saying that the government has upheld the federal structure of the country by bringing this bill.
Ram Nath Thakur of JD(U) while supporting the bill demanded do conduct caste based census . Manoj Jha of RJD also echoed the same view. He also demanded removal of 50 per cent cap in reservation.
Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena also demanded the removal of limit of 50 per cent in reservation. He also raised the issue of Maratha reservation. Vandna Chavan of NCP also supported the Bill.
Earlier, when the House met after first adjournment at 12 noon, the House reached at consensus to take up this bill.
Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said the opposition is in support of the Bill. He said, it is an important legislation and enough time should be given to discuss it.
Leader of the House, Piyush Goyal agreed to extend the time allotted d for the discussion. Manoj Jha of RJD and others said the small parties should be given more time to speak on the bill.