With OBC reservation politics on the boil in different parts of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told BJP MPs that his government has brought in “August Kranti”, in reference to the passage of two Bills to empower people from backward communities, and Dalit and tribal background.
Modi, who hailed his government and each party MP for Parliament’s approval for the Bill seeking constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), asked party leaders to work hard to take credit for the “move that had not been done by four generations in the past”.
Pointing out that the government was quick in bringing the legislation to strengthen the law to prevent atrocities against Dalits, Modi told party MPs during BJP Parliamentary Party meeting that the ongoing Monsoon Session will be remembered for steps taken by his government for social justice.
“He asked party MPs to conduct at least 50 public meetings in their respective regions and see that at least 1,000 people garland each one of them, crediting the party for the OBC Bill,” a source who was present in the meeting said.
A party MP said, “The Prime Minister said this government has done things that four generations (of people from these communities) have been dreaming of, but no one could fulfill it for them.”
Calling the session “historic”, Modi is learnt to have urged party leaders to observe August 1-9 every year as the social harmony week to commemorate the BJP-led government’s initiatives for OBCs and Dalits. This year, the party will observe “social justice fortnight” from August 15-30, during which BJP leaders are expected to reach out to the weaker sections.
Parliament has passed the NCBC Bill, and amendments to the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The Modi government had come under severe criticism for the delay in legislative intervention after the Supreme Court in March barred immediate arrest of a person accused of insulting or injuring a person from SC/ST communities.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said Modi recalled that in his speech following the BJP’s victory in 2014 elections he had said that his government would be dedicated to the poor, villages and backward sections of society, and these Bills underline this commitment. “A historic law has been passed and another is likely to be passed in a day or two,” Kumar said.
The meeting also passed a resolution congratulating the Prime Minister and the government for the NCBC Bill.
Modi told party MPs that the government has reached out to 16,000 villages where
50 per cent of the population is Dalit or OBC to ensure development schemes have reached them.