Former chairperson of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) V Eswaraiah and noted activist K Veeramani today supported granting the constitutional status to the body, in their deposition before a parliamentary committee.
They told a select committee of the Rajya Sabha that social and educational backwardness, and not economic backwardness, should be the criteria to decide whether a community would be granted the OBC status.
A Bill to grant the constitutional status to the NCBC was referred to the committee headed by BJP MP Bhupender Yaday, after opposition parties blocked its passage in the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha had cleared the Bill in the Budget Session.
The committee has been asked to table its report in the first week of the Monsoon Session and a member said it is on track to do so.
It was the fourth meeting of the committee.
Both Eswaraiah and Veeramani rejected the economic backwardness as a yardstick to grant a community the OBC status.
Many dominant communities, like Jats in Haryana, Marathas in Maharashtra and Patels in Gujarat, have sought the OBC status on the ground of their economic backwardness.
However, a committee member said they merely repeated the existing criteria to assess a community's backwardness.
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