Adjournments in RS after Oppn protest on new OBC panel

RSTV Bureau
FILE: A scene protest by Opposition members in the Rajya Sabha during the Parliament session.

FILE: A scene protest by Opposition members in the Rajya Sabha during the Parliament session.

The Upper House of Parliament is facing disruptions over several issues, including the government decision to form new commission for backward castes. With Opposition members protesting and resorting to slogans, the Rajya Sabha has been adjourned thrice so far.

Raising the issue, senior JDU MP Sharad Yadav charged that the weaker sections of society are under-represented in several government sectors.

Associating with Yadav, several other opposition members rose from the chair and sought government reply over the same.

“The right of SCs, STs and weaker section is stolen through the backdoor with the entry of private sector,” said Left front MP Tapan Sen.

However, at that point Deputy Chairperson PJ Kurien told that privatisation is a different issue.

Congress party’s Digvijaya Singh took up the delay in holding discussion over the notice he has moved on issue of government formation in Goa.

“What is happening in the house? Are we not supposed to raise our issue?… It is a denial of my right, I will not accept it. I would urge you to please request the leader of the house to please fix up the date for discussion. I would like leader of the house to please reply on this,” Digvijaya said.

Another Congress MP Jairam Ramesh demanded to know why the discussion on the issue of Aadhaar has been delayed.

Responding, Deputy Chairperson PJ Kurien told that short duration discussion on the “implementation and implication” of Aadhaar will be taken up on March 29, this week Wednesday.

But little later, protest broke out over the issue of new OBC panel with Opposition members resorting to protest and raising slogans in the Well of the House.

Several prominent Opposition members including Mayawati, Ahmed Patel, Digvijaya Singh, Sharad Yadav and Satish Mishra raised questions over the formation of new panel for the backward castes. “The minister should answer it,” Mayawati said.

While the Deputy Chairperson urged the opposition members to move proper notice to seek government’s response on their contention, the Opposition memebrs stuck to their protest leading to repeated adjournments.

Last week, the union Cabinet had given a go ahead for setting up a National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes with constitutional status. It also cleared a proposal for dissolving the National Commission for Backward classes and repealing the law under which it was established.

Taking up the issue last week as well, the Opposition leaders had raised protest in Rajya Sabha over the cabinet’s move charging the government of tinkering with the existing reservation policy. Even then, the government has ensured that the existing reservation policy will not be affected by this.

The Cabinet’s decision followed demands for constitutional status for the National Commission for Backward Classes in order to allow it to hear the grievances of OBCs in the manner in which the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes do. The latter two are constitutional bodies and not a statutory entity like NCBC.