Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today blasted opposition parties, including the Congress, for stalling a "historic" bill granting constitutional status to the OBC Commission and asserted that the NDA Government is firm on its resolve to ensure justice to the people of Backward Castes.
Seeking to consolidate its support among the Other Backward Caste (OBC), it passed a separate resolution at its National Executive Committee (NEC)meeting appreciating Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who comes from an OBC caste, for the legislation and condemning rivals for blocking it in the Rajya Sabha, said Union HRD Minister, Prakash Javadekar, while briefing Media on NEC Resolutions.
The OBCs, constituting over 52 per cent of population, are vital to BJP's fortunes and a large chunk of them had remained indifferent to it before its concerted bid to woo them bore fruits under Mr.Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and then in the recent Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections.
"It is a must to grant the OBC Commission constitutional status. It will give them justice and help create an equal society. The Congress and other parties have proved that they may preach social justice but practise only vote bank politics. The Congress did not do justice to them when it was in power and continues to do so now," Mr.Javadekar told Media Men.
The present Commission is "powerless" and cannot do justice to the OBCs, he said, adding that the Union Government is firm on the bill's passage. It will give the commission powers similar to the SCs and the STs Commissions.
He said the OBC MPs belonging to all parties, including the Congress and the Samajwadi Party, had met Mr.Modi recently to press for such a bill but opposition parties stalled it when it was brought.
The Lok Sabha, where the BJP enjoys a big majority, passed the constitutional amendment bill during the recent Budget Session but the Rajya Sabha, where it is short of a simple majority, stalled it and sent to a parliamentary committee for review and recommendations.
Hitting out the opposition Congress, the resolution said opposing a decision aimed at improving the living conditions of backward people cannot be termed right and the people sidelined for long should now get their due in the society.
It is yet another pro-poor move by the Modi Government, the Minister said, adding that various bodies, including the Mandal commission, had made such a suggestion.
The resolution moved by Hukumdev Narayan Yadav and seconded by the party's senior OBC leaders, including Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raghubar Das.