Opposition parties led by the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Friday forced a brief adjournment of proceedings in the Rajya Sabha alleging a move to disband the OBC commission, a charge vehemently denied by the government.
SP members rushed into the well of the House and shouted anti-government slogans, forcing deputy chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the proceedings for 10 minutes.
Minister for social justice and empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot said Prime Minister Narenda Modi had repeatedly said the constitutional position of reservation of SCs, STs and OBCs will continue.
“Since the time of Jan Sangh, we have been a supporter of reservation to these communities and will continue to be a supporter,” he said.
The government, he said, had taken a decision to give constitutional status to the commission for other backward classes (OBC) and it will get the same rights as the commission for SC and STs.
Earlier when the House assembled, Ramgopal Yadav (SP) said the National Commission for Backward Classes, created in response to a Supreme Court ruling in 1992, was disbanded instead of giving it the promised constitutional status.
This commission is to be replaced by a National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NSEBC) and part of a larger “conspiracy” to do away with reservation to dalits, Yadav alleged.
The new commission will examine and recommend requests for inclusion and exclusion in the list of other backward classes.
Without naming the RSS, he alleged that the move was guided by the philosophy of the ruling party’s “fountain head” that reservation should end. “Backward classes feel cheated.”
He alleged that backward communities like Yadavs, Kurmis, Lodhas and Kushwaha, who have made some social progress, were being removed from the OBC list.
His assertion found support in rival BSP, as well as the Congress whose members too opposed the ruling party.
Rejecting the minister’s statement, Yadav said the OBC commission had been disbanded and it was a conspiracy to end reservation.