The Cabinet cleared the official amendments for reintroduction of a bill to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes in the Lok Sabha in the forthcoming winter session, official sources said.
Once passed by Parliament, the NCBC will have full powers to safeguard the rights and interests of OBCs, they said.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the amendments to clear the decks for reintroduction of the bill.
The proposed legislation is seen as a major push by the BJP to consolidate OBC votes in its favour.
Responding to a long felt demand from all categories of OBCs, the government had introduced the bill to grant constitutional status to the NCBC — on par with the National Commissions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes – in the last Parliament session, officials said.
The proposed Constitutional amendment bill was first introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha.
The Rajya Sabha then passed the bill but with certain amendments. This resulted in two different versions of the bill being passed by the two houses.
Therefore, the bill will now have to be reintroduced in the Lok Sabha.
The NCBC, a statutory body created in 1993, was given limited powers — only to recommend to the government inclusion or exclusion of a community in the central list of OBCs.