Parliament passes bill to give constitutional validity to NCBC.

The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, which gives the National Commission for Backward Classes statutory powers, was unanimously passed by the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The bill was moved for discussion and passage by social justice and empowerment minister Thawar Chand Gehlot in the Rajya Sabha and passed unanimously with 145 ayes and no negative votes or abstentions.

The Lok Sabha passed the bill on August 2. The NCBC would get constitutional status after half of the states approve it with a simple majority and President Ram Nath Kovind gives his nod to the legislation.

Government had faced embarrassment in 2017 when the opposition forced amendments to the bill in the Rajya Sabha where the NDA is in a minority. This time the bill was passed after a give and take between the two sides.


Gehlot assured the House that the opposition demand for having a woman member in the NCBC will be considered when the rules are framed. Opposition dropped its other demand that one member in the five-member body must be from the minority community.

Gehlot also clarified that NCBC will have no right to interfere in the functioning of such state bodies. This law will not be binding on the state backward commissions and the latter will continue to enjoy the powers vested in them. Passage of this bill gives BJP an opportunity to woo the backward castes. The political undertones behind this legislation were obvious in the speeches made by various members.


“We have proved that we were, we are and we will be in favour of reservations,” Gehlot said. He emphasised that BJP strongly backs the rights of Dalits, tribals and backwards. Congress member BK Hariprasad alleged BJP is a party that stands for upper castes and is not in favour of reservations. “They are shedding crocodile tears for OBCs.” (Source: The Economic Times)

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