Govt set to table bill to restore states' power to identify local OBCs

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NEW DELHI: The government is set to table a bill in Parliament to restore the powers of states to identify local OBCs, a mandate negated by the Supreme Court's Maratha reservation judgement of May 5.
The move will test the opposition which has declared that it will not allow the proceedings till its demand for a discussion on Pegasus is met. reported the government plan on July 23 and 26.
Union Cabinet Tuesday approved "the Constitution (127th) amendment bill-2021" to tweak clauses 1 and 2 of Article 342A and also introduce a new clause 3. The bill will also amend the Articles 366 (26c) and 338B (9) - all designed to clarify that the states can maintain the "state list" of OBCs as was the system before the SC judgement. Crucially, sources said, the "state list" will be completely taken out of the ambit of the President and will be notified by the state assembly.
Shashank Ratnoo, a lawyer specialising in backward reservation, said, "The move is welcome, without which the system of OBC lists will go haywire."
Well-placed sources said the bill may be tabled in Lok Sabha at the earliest, possibly on Thursday. This has raised concern in the opposition camp which is for the bill but is on protest. The sudden move by the government is seen as a ploy to break their blockade since Congress and key regional parties like DMK, TMC, Shiv Sena, NCP are for restoration of state powers.

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