The Opposition on Monday said it will extend its support to the Constitution amendment bill which seeks to give power to states and UTs to make their own OBC lists.
"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 being introduced today (Monday) to be passed immediately after a discussion on it," Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said.
"We will peacefully support this bill. This issue is in the interest of backward classes and the country," Kharge said.
Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar introduced the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the Lok Sabha. The bill aims to clarify provisions in the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Bill to restore the power of states to have their own lists of backward classes after identifying them.
Leaders of 15 Opposition parties met at the Parliament complex on Monday morning to formulate a common strategy on this as well as issues like the Pegasus snooping controversy and farmers' concerns as the Monsoon session of Parliament entered its final week. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was among those who attended the meeting held at the chamber of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. Besides the Congress, leaders of the DMK, TMC, NCP, Shiv Sena, SP, CPM, RJD, AAP, CPI, NC, IUML, LJD, RSP and the KC(M) were present.
Opposition parties have united in seeking a discussion on the Pegasus snooping issue and the farmers' problems, and is exerting pressure on the government. Parliament has failed to transact any significant business since it met on July 19 for the Monsoon session. Some bills, however, have been passed amid the din.
The Monsoon Session entered its last week on Monday. The government has listed four bills related to the Finance Ministry for passage in the Rajya Sabha to get the Parliament’s nod. On Sunday, Union Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi had appealed to the Opposition to help pass the bill for “the welfare of the OBCs”.
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned following protests by Opposition members over various issues. As soon as the Question Hour began, Opposition members sought to raise various issues, including the Pegasus spyware controversy and started shouting slogans.
Speaker Om Birla told the members that the Question Hour was important and should not be disrupted, and urged the members to go back to their seats. However, the din continued and the proceedings were adjourned in less than 10 minutes till 11.30 am.
Earlier, Birla, on behalf of the House, paid tributes to those who had participated in the Quit India Movement. The members also stood in silence for a brief while as a mark of respect to those who took part in that movement. The Quit India Movement was launched in 1942 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and played a key role in India attaining freedom from British rule five years later on August 15, 1947.
Besides, Birla mentioned India's performance at the just-concluded Olympic games at Tokyo and congratulated the medal winners. Members thumped their desks when the name of Neeraj Chopra, who won the gold medal in javelin throw at the Olympics, was mentioned. While noting that winning seven medals was the best ever Olympics performance by India, Birla exuded confidence that the performance would enthuse youngsters.