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PM Modi surprised over Rajya Sabha blocking OBC commission bill

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed surprise that the Rajya Sabha blocked the bill for an OBC commission which seeks to safeguard interests of backward classes.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2017 21:37 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,OBCCommission Bill,OBC MPs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed surprise that the Rajya Sabha blocked the bill for an OBC commission which seeks to safeguard interests of backward classes.(HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “surprised” over the bill to accord constitutional status to an OBC commission getting stuck in the Rajya Sabha.

Modi told a group of OBC MPs of the BJP on Wednesday that it was a long pending demand made by a Parliamentary committee and that MPs of all parties had personally demanded the same from him.

On Monday, the Lok Sabha cleared with voice vote the bill, which seeks to “safeguard” the interest of the socially and educationally backward classes. Blocked by the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, the bill has been referred to a select committee of the upper house.

The committee to examine the bill will be headed by BJP member Bhupender Yadav. It has been asked to submit its report by the last day of the first week of the next session.

“This kind of negative politics to deprive the backward classes of their rights is regrettable,” Modi told the BJP MPs who felicitated him for bringing in the bill. He asked BJP MPs to reach out to opposition members and convince them about the benefits that a constitutional status for the commission will bring to the backward communities.

An aggressive outreach to the most backward communities in the recent assembly election in Uttar Pradesh helped the BJP sweep the polls. The ruling party has tried to woo these socially influential groups ever since Modi, who also comes from a backward community, was projected as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in the run up to the 2014 general election.

With the aim of consolidating the BJP’s support from backward communities, Modi also asked the BJP MPs to discharge their “moral and constitutional duty” to create “awareness” among the socially marginalized groups about the government’s move and how it would benefit them.

“New opportunities to improve their life will be created under the new commission,” Modi told them. Describing the backward communities as a self respecting social group, Modi said they never forget even smallest help extended to them.

First Published: Apr 12, 2017 20:27 IST