Only Parliament can allow additions to OBC list

The Lok Sabha on Monday cleared The Constitution 102nd Amendment Bill, that grants constitutional status to the Backward Classes Commission, now called the National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes. The Bill also enjoins that any addition to the Central list of communities under the Other Backward Classes will have to be cleared through Parliament.

Minister for Social Justice and empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot said that the bill would ensure the rights of the Other Backward Classes, and give the National Commission for Backward Classes the constitutional safeguards enjoyed by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Tribes. Mr Gehlot also tried to allay fears expressed by several opposition parties on the Centre’s encroachment on the rights of State government to include the names of OBC castes in the Central list.

“I want to assure all the honourable members that their fears of an attack on the rights of the State government via this bill are unfounded,” he said.

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