Parliament updates | Lok Sabha passes NCBC Bill

Final tally of the Constitution Amendment Bill

Final tally of the Constitution Amendment Bill  

The proceedings of the Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned for the fourth day on Thursday over the Assam's National Register of Citizens (NCR). After a smooth first half of the session, the Upper House was adjourned minutes after it reconvened after the lunch break.

The Lok Sabha unanimously passes the Bill for constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)

 

Here are the live updates:

Lok Sabha | 7:00 pm

The Minister moves the Bill be passed.  Bill goes for voting.

The final tally is 406-0.  The motion is passed with more than 2/3rd majority.

The House stands adjourned to meet on Friday.

Lok Sabha | 6:53 pm

Subject to further correction, the Speaker says, noes are nil. The motion is accepted. This has effectively nullified the amendments made by the Rajya Sabha.

Votes polled for a Constitutional Amendment seeking to establish a National Commission for Backward Classes.

Votes polled for a Constitutional Amendment seeking to establish a National Commission for Backward Classes.  

 

The insertion of new clause goes for voting.  "There shall be a Commission for the socially and educationally backward classes to be known as the National Commission for Backward Classes." is the insertion.

It is unanimously adopted by all the members present in the House.

Lok Sabha | 6:48 pm

Now the amendments moved by the minister goes to voting. This one needs 2/3rd majority.

Lok Sabha | 6:45 pm

Bhartruhari Mahtab's amendments are taken up for voting. For his amendments to be adopted, a simple majority is needed.

His amendment gets only 84 votes.

Voting on BJD member's amendment.

Voting on BJD member's amendment.   | Photo Credit: LSTV

 

Lok Sabha | 6:35 pm

The Constitution Amendment Bill goes for voting.  Since it is a Constitution Amendment, 2/3rd majority is needed.

Lobbies are being cleared and it's almost full attendance in Lok Sabha.

The Secretary General apprises the members on how to operate the vote recording system.

Lok Sabha | 6:30 pm

Bhartruhari Mahtab takes a jibe at the long speech of Mr. Gehlot. He says the pleader makes long speech in courts expecting the judge to get tired and take a stand in favour of him. He says he is fine to give up the woman panel member demand if it is made in the rules. The other demand cannot be given up.

The Minister says unlike the SC/ST list, Backward Classes list is created separately by State and Centre.

Lok Sabha | 6:00 pm

Lok Sabha decides to sit till the Bill is taken for voting.

Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot responds. He says the Modi government is for the poor and the backward.  All benefits given to the SC/STs like scholarship will also be extended to the backward classes too, he says.

The recommendations of Justice Rohini Commission will be tabled in the House once its submitted, he says.

He says the government is trying to bring back reservation in Jamia Milia and Aligarh Muslim University. He also lists out schemes rolled out for the benefits of the backward classes.

He says the government has accepted two amendments moved by opposition members. He says a panel member would be a woman and one will be from the minority community.

On adding a caste to the list, he narrates the process and assures the due process will be followed.  He assures the suggestions of members will be considered while framing the rules.

He requests the Bill be passed.

Lok Sabha | 5:55 pm

Deve Gowda (JD-S) says within the fifty per cent ambit, Karnataka is providing reservation to Muslims and nomadic tribes. He wants to ensure the Commission doesn't dilute these initiatives of the State.

Rajesh Ranjan (RJD) rakes up the issue of creamy layer. Take any sector in this country. Is there a proportional representation, he asks.

Lok Sabha | 5:40 pm

Prem Das Rai (SDF) says in Sikkim all communities were enjoying same status before it merged with India. But later few communities were not granted tribal status. It has to be restored, he says.

Birendra Kumar Chaudhury (BJP) also speaks in favour of Bill but claims only 10 per cent reap the benefits of the reservation and this must be extended to all.

Sunil Kumar Mondal (Trinamool) speaks in Bengali. He asks when there is a dearth of OBC judges, how can the panel members be filled up.

Ramesh Bidudi (BJP) claims Gujjars got reservation in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal and Jammu and Kashir only when BJP was in power.

Lok Sabha | 5:30 pm

Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM) says he supports the Bill. He says the NCBC must have the same powers of the NCSC. Why are you confining 90 per cent of population within 50 per cent. He seeks an amendment to nullify the Supreme Court ruling. He also asks why the Centre is not passing the Muslim reservation passed by Telangana. When there is evidence that plight of Muslims is known, why not allow reservation for the Muslims, he asks.

N.K. Premachandran (RSP) says he supports the amendments moved by Bhartruhari Mahtab. He says perhaps for the first time an amendment is being made to an amendment passed by the other House.

Lok Sabha | 5:15 pm

Certain anxieties must be addressed, says  Mohammed Basheer (IUML). Eligibility criteria for members have not been mentioned in the Bill. Recommendations of Select Committee have been ignored. States should not be ignored since they know the ground reality. Castes should not be allowed to be added through backdoor, he warns.

Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP) thanks all parties for supporting the Bill. He reiterates the country will be united only when the cause of one community will be taken up by another community. He recalls the Mandal Commission debate that went on for 14 hours.  He goes on to say how the same caste is considered backward in one state, most backward in another.  He turns to Congress and says they haven't done anything to the backward classes.

Lok Sabha | 5:00 pm

Dushyant Chautala (INLD) welcomes the Bill but wonders if the government understands the importance of the issue. Pointing out at an answer submitted by the Social Justice Ministry that the government does not have any data on the number of Backward Classes population in the country.

We have seen demands for quota in various states including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana. Are you planning to standardise the list since each State has its own way of categorising castes, he asks.

Santosh Kumar (JD-U) and Rodmal Nagar (BJP) speak in favour of the Bill.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is in the Chair. She urges members to finish their speech faster due to paucity of time.

Lok Sabha | 4:45 pm

Ram Kumar Sharma (RLSP) supports the Bill and accuses the opposition for speaking in favour of the backward classes only during elections.

Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal says among all commissions only the NCBC didn't have legal powers and it has been fulfilled now.

Ram Tahal Choudhury (BJP) also speaks in favour of the Bill.

Lok Sabha | 4:25 pm

Jayaprakash Narayan Yadav (RJD) says several commissions were set up to look into reservations but it was the National Front government that actually granted quota. When Tamil Nadu and Karnataka can have more than fifty per cent reservation, why not extend it to the rest of the country, he asks.

Prem Singh Chandumajra (SAD) lauds Narendra Modi for bringing the historic bill.

Rajesh Varma (BJP) claims the Bill should have been brought in 2012 itself when the Supreme Court in its ruling recommended such a commission for backward classes. He also points out that the creamy layer threshold has been increased to Rs. 8 lakh.

Lok Sabha | 4:00 pm

Prahlad Singh Patel (BJP) says today is the day for Congress to seek penance for its earlier mistakes. Mr. Patel says first the 27 per cent quota must be fulfilled and only then creamy layer must be considered.

Samajwadi Party member Dharmendra Yadav recalls how the BJP was also against the Mandal Commission. He doesn't spare the Congress either. Mr. Yadav says Aadhaar-based caste census must be carried out to find out the current status of castes in India. After this a proportional representation can be carried out, he suggests.  He says only four Union ministers are from the OBC community.  He also points out lack of adequate representation of the community in judiciary and executive.

Lok Sabha | 3:45 pm

Tamradhvaj Sahu (Congress) says his party never opposed the Bill. He asks why the delay in bringing out the Bll, since it will take time to implement the contents of the Bill. Are you doing this keeping elections in the mind.

He also asks about the children of inter-caste marriages and what caste will they be considered as.

Mr. Sahu alleges there is a systematic effort to disallow reservation.  He also asks a separate Commission for the OBCs.

He says the issues in getting community certificates must be ironed out.  Congress were never against the OBCs, says Mr. Sahu and lists out the welfare schemes brought by Congress for the community.

Lok Sabha | 3:40 pm

Kothapalli Geeta during a debate on NCBC in Lok Sabha.

Kothapalli Geeta during a debate on NCBC in Lok Sabha.   | Photo Credit: LSTV

 

Kothapalli Geeta (YSRCP) congratulates the Union government for bringing this historical legislation. The Bill provides more powers to the NCBC, she adds. She also notes that the some powers of the States have been reduced and requests the Centre to restore these powers.

The danger of reservation is that the fortunate ones get the benefits but the lowest strata continue to be deprived of the benefits. It is wrong if my son takes the benefits of a deserving tribal candidate, she says, supporting the creamy layer. She also wants the economically poor to avail the benefits of reservation.

Lok Sabha | 3:15 pm

P. Karunakaran (CPI-M)  says the struggle for reservation dates back to pre-Independence era. 

Mr. Karunakaran notes that that among members of the panel one member must be from extreme backward class. He also says the amendments are fine but it must be implemented in toto.

Nityanand Rai (BJP) says only a poor person can understand the pain of another. And the Prime Minister has proved this right.  He blames the Congress, RJD and SP for not allowing the Bill to be passed in the upper House. He also accuses the Congress for working against the backward classes.

Lok Sabha | 3:05 pm

Rammohan Naidu (TDP) says his party supports the Bill. He notes that the caste-based census has never been put on the public domain. We need to have an idea on how many OBCs are there in the country.

He opposes creamy layer clause.

He wants to lift the 50 per cent threshold on reservation.  When reservation for SC/ST is based on population, why not follow the same method for OBCs? he asks.

Lok Sabha | 3:00 pm

Professor Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress) says four Lok Sabha members and two Rajya Sabha members belonging to his party have been detained in Assam airport. "This is a breach of privilege," he says.

The Speaker will look into the matter, says the Deputy Speaker.

Lok Sabha | 2:49 pm

Parliament updates | Lok Sabha passes NCBC Bill
 

B.N. Gowd (TRS) says this Bill is the victory for 25 years of struggle. He recalls how the reservation policy was finally approved by the V.P. Singh government. Reservation has a psychological effect. If I become an MP, my people get confidence, he adds.

He blames the Congress rule. Had the Congress "hugged" and "made eye contact" with the OBC , they would know our pains, he says.

All parties must do self-introspection, he says. Why a creamy layer for OBCs when the 27 per cent quota itself is not properly implemented, he says.

Dr. Gowd lists out the benefits given to OBCs in Telangana.  He suggests Savitri and Jyotiba Phule must be conferred with Bharat Ratna. 

Lok Sabha | 2:42 pm

Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) says only 12 per cent of OBC got jobs even though they comprise 40 per cent. Quoting a report, Mr. Sawant says it is due to low enrollment in education.

The commission has been granted judiciary powers but the Bill is unsure if a person with judiciary knowledge be made the members. He lauds Tamil Nadu's 69 per cent reservation. We must learn from them, he says.

Mr. Sawant also urges the Central government to intervene in the Maratha quota stir.

Lok Sabha | 2:30 pm

'One woman member'

Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) speaks during a debate in Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) speaks during a debate in Lok Sabha on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: LSTV

 

Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) observes that the suggestions he and other opposition members made when the Bill was brought in the House was rejected, but now Rajya Sabha has added them.

He lauds the clause empowering States to decide the list of Backward Classes.  He observes people belonging to a caste may be economically well-off in another State but that doesn't mean they are not backward.

Deputy Speaker agrees with him.

Mr. Mahtab also notes the spelling of caste names differ in each state. How is the government going to standardise it, he asks.

He says he was surprised that two amendments moved by him have been accepted by the government. Mr. Mahtab wanted to have at least one woman in the commission and recommendation of the State government must be approved for adding castes to the list.

Mr. Mahtab says the BJD supports the Bill. How to identify the socially and economically deprived? A Justice Rohini Commission is looking into it. The way forward is to considered a creamy layer, he adds.

Lok Sabha | 2:15 pm

In Lok Sabha, Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai is in the Chair. Union Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot moves The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-third Amendment) Bill, 2017. The Bill amends the Constitution to create a National Commission for Backward Classes.

This Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on the April 10, 2017 and transmitted to Rajya Sabha for their concurrence. Rajya Sabha passed the Bill with an amendment at its sitting held on the July 31, 2017 and returned it to Lok Sabha on August 1, 2017.

The NCBC is a body set up under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.  It has the power to examine complaints regarding inclusion or exclusion of groups within the list of backward classes, and advise the central government in this regard.  The Bill seeks to establish the NCBC under the Constitution, and provide it the authority to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes.

Rajya Sabha | 2:00 pm

Rajya Sabha reconvenes. The Chair takes up short duration discussion on challenges in agricultural sector. But Trinamool members want Home Minister's reply on the NRC issue. The Home Minister is willing to lay the answer on the table, says Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu adding it was gross injustice meted out to the Minister.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad observes that members elected from Assam must be given a chance to express their thoughts since the matter is utmost importance to the State.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Goel agrees with Mr. Azad. He says he will get the Home Minister to make a statement in the House.

Anand Sharma says Bhubaneswar Kalita, who is from Assam was not given a chance to speak. Piyush Goyal retorts Amit Shah was also not allowed to complete his speech. "He (Shah) is from all India," saya Mr. Goyal.

The Chair says he will proceed with the short duration discussion now and the members representing Assam will get a chance to speak later in the day or tomorrow.

But Trinamool members troop the Well and protest. Rajya Sabha is adjourned for the day.

Rajya Sabha | 12:40 pm

Ambika Soni asks if it is true that the scholarship given to SC students has been curtailed. Minister Vijay Sampla says there is no such plan. Ms. Soni points out dues to be paid to SC students in Punjab, the minister says the amount has been dispatched.

And Rajya Sabha adjouns after a smooth functioning. The Lok Sabha too will meet at 2 pm.

Rajya Sabha | 12:30 pm

Why is there a fall in the number of students who passed the IIT-JEE? Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar says a new cut-off was calculated so that reserved seats are filled-up. We have also increased the seats by 1000 this year, he adds.

What are the steps being taken to enroll more SC/ST students in IIT, asks an AIADMK member. Mr. Javadekar says only over 100 seats are not filled and it is unfortunate that many people are not opting for agricultural engineering.

Vijila Sathyananth (AIADMK) asks about suicides in IITs. Is caste discrimination a reason for such suicides, she asks. Mr. Javadekar says there is another discrimination in IITS, gender. Due to super numeric quota 840 girls made it to engineering in IIT. We have started a 12-point programme that includes a two-week induction programme so that students get to mingle with each other. We have introduced schemes like mentoring, local parenting and counselling, he adds.

Lok Sabha | 12:25 pm

Professor Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress) raises the NRC issue again. He says the Mathuvas are blockading rails since their names are excluded in the draft NRC.

Anbumani Ramadoss (PMK) says the purpose of NEET was to decommercialisation of medical education and to produce quality doctors. But today a student who has scored negative marks in physics and chemistry is studying medicine. A student who got 13.3% marks gets into medicine. How do you bring quality doctors like this, he asks.

Lok Sabha | 12:15 pm

Mallikharjun Kharge raises the issue of dilution of SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. The government has not done anything to nullify the Supreme Court order, he claims. You bring ordinances for every small issue, why didn't you bring an ordinance for this issue, he asks.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh says the Union Cabinet has approved the restoration of the existing Act. Prime Minister had already assured that the government will not allow dilution of the Act. We will introduce the Bill in the current session, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 12:10 pm

What is the definition for NITI Aayog? asks Anubhav Mohanty (BJD). MoS Planning, Rao Indrajit Singh, says the first goal of NITI Aayog is to eradicate poverty. He elaborates the steps taken including providing basic services such as food, shelter and job.

Mr. Mohanty specifically wants to know how much employment was generated. The Minister says MNREGA, Deendayal Upadhyaya and Jan Dhan Yojana generate employment. The members are clearly unhappy with the answer.

Kahkashan Paween, who is in the Chair, diffuses the situation asking the minister to file a written reply.

Lok Sabha | 12:00 noon

Earlier Gram Sadak Yojana was a centrally-sponsored scheme. Now the States are also participating, says Abhishek Banerjee (Trinamool Congress). What steps are being taken to ensure the smooth functioning, he asks. What is the plan of action, he asks.

With that the Question Hour ends and Zero Hour begins.

Rajya Sabha | 11:50 am

Jharna Das Baidya (CPI-M) speaks about the killing of journalists in the recent times. She alleges the press freedom is curbed in her State.

Journalists have to be allowed to do their work freely, adds Derek O'Brien.

A JD(U) member raises a newspaper report that said an erstwhile jawan is washing dishes to make his living. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says alll his dues have been paid. The Chair says please be liberal in helping such jawans.

Lok Sabha | 11:45 am

Now Ram Kripal Yadav is responding to questions on Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. He says best performing States are being given incentives. The maintenance of rural roads lies with the State governments.

Rajya Sabha | 11:40 am

Pratap Singh Bajwa says over 2.5 lakh students from Punjab leave the State and country for higher education and employment. He claims something is wrong in this country as the brain drain affects the country. The allocation for higher education must be increased and more employment opportunities must be created.

Rajya Sabha | 11:30 am

Binoy Viswam (CPI) says airlines are unfairly increasing the prices of airtickets and "Non Resident Keralites" who wish to come home for Onam are suffering. The Chair remarks, "What is this new term NRK?" Mr. Viswom quickly adds: "They are NRIs also sir."

Vijila Sathyananth (AIADMK) speaks about death of five passengers who were travelling on footboard on a crowded Chennai suburban train last month. She demands more trains and better maintenance of railway lines.

11:25 am

Congress members from Punjab demand the release of SC/ST scholarship.

Congress members from Punjab demand the release of SC/ST scholarship.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Lok Sabha | 11:20 am

What are the steps being taken to add more women seafarers, asks an AIADMK MP. Minister Nitin Gadkari says over one lakh Indian seafarers are working. The government will consider the member's suggestion, he says. Around 4000 women are recruited as seafarers, says the minister.

Rajya Sabha | 11:15 am

Shwait Malik (BJP) says a trafficking racket is running in Punjab where innocent people are sent to foreign countries in the name of getting job but end up doing slavery.

Ritupurno Banerjee (Independent) speaks on Damodar Valley releasing water withoput prior information, thus affecting people in the downstream areas.

Rajya Sabha | 11:10 am

Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu gives clarification on two Point of Orders raised on Wednesday. He says The Chair has right to allow a member to talk twice. This was objected by Sukhendu Shekar Roy yesterday. On Congress member Anand Sharma's objection to Amit Shah's remarks, the Chair says Mr. Shah didn't take any former Prime Minister's name and hence his remarks need not be expunged.

Lok Sabha | 11:10 am

In Lok Sabha, Narendra Singh Tomar is answering questions on compensation to families displaced due to mining activities.

Some members, including Congress', raise slogans and seek suspension on Question Hour. Speaker refuses. Sloganeering continues.

Rajya Sabha | 11:05 am

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Goel lauds Najma Heptullah. She was the Deputy Chairperson for 16 years. He says Ghulam Nabi Azad is the ideal parliamentarian and an inspiration to many. When Anand Sharma puts us in trouble, Mr. Azad helps us to get out of it, says Mr. Goel in a lighter vein.

11:00 am

Both Houses convene.

Rajya Sabha Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu congratulates Ghulam Nabi Azad and Najma Heptullah for winning the Best Parliamentarian Awards. Mr. Azad is the Leader of the Opposition, while Ms. Heptullah was a former member of the House.

In Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan reads obituary reference and moves over to Question Hour.

10:50 am

LDF yesterday, UDF today

Members from Congress-led UDF protest seeking rail coach factory in Kanjikode, on Thursday.

Members from Congress-led UDF protest seeking rail coach factory in Kanjikode, on Thursday.  

The Congress-led UDF, on Thursday, protested outside the Parliament premises seeking a railway coach factory near Palakkad. The Rs. 550 crore project was recently scrapped claiming the Railways has no shortage for coaches as of now.  The Left-led LDF protested on the same issue on Wednesday.

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