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NCBC Bill to Benefit all OBC Communities, Including Muslims: PM Modi

Sumit Pande | CNN-News18

Updated: April 16, 2017, 8:31 PM IST
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NCBC Bill to Benefit all OBC Communities, Including Muslims: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (CNN-News18 TV grab)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the bill aimed at giving constitutional status to National Commission For Backward Classes (NCBC) seeks to benefit all OBC communities, including the backwards among Muslims.

The Prime Minister’s intervention on the NCBC Bill is being seen as an attempt to put the burden of passage of the statute on Mandal parties seen to be skeptical of the government's intent.

Most of the regional parties operate on a complex caste matrix, with Muslims topping up the core backward or dalit constituency. And unlike the SC and ST reservation, OBC quota is religion neutral.

Even backward communities among Muslims are in the OBC lists - both state and central - like pasmanda Muslims in Bihar and the weaver community in Uttar Pradesh.

Modi's intervention on the subject came during a debate at the BJP National Executive on a resolution moved on the NCBC Bill.

The legislation has been referred to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha after its passage by the Lok Sabha in the last week of the recently-concluded Budget Session of Parliament.

The government lacks numbers in the Rajya Sabha to get the Constitution Amendment Bill passed, which requires a special two-thirds majority and a subsequent ratification by atleast half of the state assemblies.

A special resolution passed on the issue on the concluding day of the party conclave in Bhubneswar congratulated the Prime Minister for the "historic step" taken by the central government.

The resolution introduced by party MP Hukum Dev Narain Yadav also accused the Opposition - both the Congress and regional parties - of attempting to create impediments in the process of empowering OBCs through this legislation.

Some regional parties, while opposing the proposed statute, had expressed apprehensions that the bill may impinge upon the rights of the states to have a separate OBC list for the purpose of providing reservations to backward communities in jobs and educational institutions.

While some others have alluded that the bill, which empowers Parliament to scrutinise and clear any proposal for inclusion in and removal from the OBC list, could be used to provide reservation to some economically-empowered sections.

In other words, the bill, a section has felt may be used to address demands for quota by Patels in Gujarat, Marathas in Maharashtra, Kapus in Andhra Pradesh and Jats in Haryana.

Constitution criteria for OBC reservation is social and educational backwardness. While SC quotas is available only to Dalits among Hindus and Buddhists, for which the benchmark is untouchability.

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