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Parliament To Introduce Opposition-Backed 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill Giving Power To States To Identify OBCs

New Delhi: The Centre is introducing the Constitutional 127th Amendment Bill restoring powers of states to notify backward classes with full Opposition support as an exception.

Floor leaders of the Opposition parties in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are meeting at the office of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge today to take the final call on the matter and discuss future strategy.

The New Indian Express (TNIE) quoted sources as saying that all Opposition parties are on the same page on the importance of the bill, keeping in mind the Assembly elections scheduled early next year.

Congress and other regional parties have been pressing the Centre for bringing an amendment to the 102nd Constitutional amendment Act to overturn the May 5 Supreme Court judgment that vests sole power with the Centre to identify the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) list.

“It is a very important issue and we have suggested that this bill be treated as an exception for participation in the discussion and passing,” a senior Opposition leader was quoted as saying.

For the Constitution to be amended, the bill must be passed in both Houses separately by absolute majority, which is more than 50% of the House strength, and a special majority of two-thirds of those present and voting.

The Constitutional 127th Amendment Bill is expected to amend Articles 342 A — clauses 1 and 2 — and introduce clause 342 A (3) specifically authorising states to maintain their state list.