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Monsoon Session: Govt Gets Support On OBC Bill Amid Row With Opposition

Opposition on Monday lent its support to the Centre on a constitutional amendment bill allowing states and union territories to make their own Other Backward Classes (OBC) list.

Monsoon Session: Govt Gets Support On OBC Bill Amid Row With Opposition
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As the ongoing Monsoon Session in Parliament entered its last week, the Opposition lent its support to the Centre on a constitutional amendment bill allowing states and union territories to make their own Other Backward Classes (OBC) list.

The support comes a day after Union Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi's appeal to the Opposition to back the bill. Opposition parties had previously accused the Centre of assaulting the federal structure by taking away the power of the states to identify and list OBCs. 

The support came even as Opposition parties continue to attack the centre over a range of issues including the Pegasus snooping case and farm laws.

The Supreme Court has dismissed the Centre's plea seeking review of the May 5 majority verdict which held that the 102nd Constitution amendment took away states' power to declare Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) for grant of quota in jobs and admissions.

The 102nd Constitution Amendment Act of 2018 inserted Articles 338B, which deals with the structure, duties and powers of the National Commission for Backward Classes, while 342A deals with powers of the President to notify a particular caste as SEBC and power of Parliament to change the list.

Amid apprehensions, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar told Rajya Sabha last month that the government was in consultation with legal experts and the Ministry of Law and examining ways to protect the power of the states in determining the State list of OBCs.

On May 5, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan had unanimously set aside Maharashtra law granting quota to Marathas and had refused to refer the 1992 Mandal verdict putting a cap of 50 percent on reservation to a larger bench. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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