NEW DELHI: The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) has declared its support for the Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Other Backward Classes - OBC amendment) introduced by the Central Government in the Lok Sabha. In a press conference held in New Delhi by the YSRCP MPs, Rajya Sabha MP Pilli Subhash Chandrabose stated that the party was extending its full support to the OBC bill. He stated that giving States the power to identify OBCs was a good development as the State governments alone would be aware of which castes are lagging behind.
Rajya Sabha MP Mopidevi Venkataramana said that to date, full justice has not been done to the economically and socially backward OBCs. He also recalled Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had repeatedly brought OBC reservations to the Centre’s attention and welcomed the bill. He criticized the Centre's budget for the upliftment of BC communities as “nominal”. When AP CM YS Jagan could allocate Rs 30,000 crore for the development of BCs, the central government allocating Rs 1,000 crore for 29 states was amusing.
Rajahmundry Lok Sabha MP Margani Bharat said that since the past 67 years injustice was meted out to the backward castes under the OBC category. "We wholeheartedly welcome the Central government bringing in this bill today, which will provide them with education and employment opportunities," he said. There are about 671 OBC castes that have not been identified by the Center so far and they will certainly benefit from this bill, he said.
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar introduced the Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the Lok Sabha on Monday. which seeks to restore the states' power to make their own OBC lists.
In the statement of objects and reasons, Kumar said in order to adequately clarify that the states and Union territories are empowered to prepare and maintain their own list of SEBCs (Socially and Educationally Backward Classes) and with a view to maintain the federal structure of this country, there is a need to amend Article 342A and make consequential amendments in articles 338B and 366 of the Constitution.
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, and 342A that deals with the powers of the president to notify a particular caste as an SEBC and the power of Parliament to change the list. Article 366 (26C) defines SEBCs.
Several Opposition parties including the YSRCP have decided to support the passage of a constitutional amendment bill that seeks to enable state governments to make their own lists of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). "The government is going to introduce the constitutional amendment bill in Parliament. We all leaders of various parties will support this bill, and we want this bill to be passed immediately after a discussion on it," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said on Monday.