A Bill to accord constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes has been referred to the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha, which will submit its report during the next session of Parliament, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said here today.
"To safeguard the interests of the socially and educationally backward classes more effectively, we had proposed constitutional status for the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)," the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister said.
He was addressing a gathering at a felicitation programme organised by organisations working for the welfare of backward classes.
Hailing the Prime Minister for the Bill, Naidu said, "Our government, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, has decided to address the long-pending demand of the backward classes by according constitutional status to the NCBC."
The Bill was tabled in and approved by the Lok Sabha on April 10, he added.
"There has been some delay in the passage of the Bill in Rajya Sabha as it has been referred to the Select Committee. It was already delayed by 30 years (by the earlier governments). Now, it will be delayed by another three months," said the senior BJP leader.
"I would like to assure everyone that our government is open to all constructive suggestions and corrections to make the commission more effective and responsive. We will seek the support of all the parties in the Rajya Sabha for the passage of this historic legislation," he added.
"We are sure that all these historic decisions will lead to the overall welfare of the socially and educationally backward classes," said Naidu.
He blamed the previous governments for "not initiating measures" to eradicate social and economical inequalities.
"What I am saying is that if the successive governments after Independence had sincerity in their approach, social and economic inequalities would not have been there by now.
"Unfortunately, no sincere effort was made (earlier) to eradicate the socio-economic inequalities," alleged Naidu.
The Union minister said there should not be any reservation on religious grounds.
"There is nothing wrong in giving reservation to the poor people of any community. The Constitution says religion cannot be a basis for reservation. Reservation should not be a cause of injustice to the backward classes," he added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)