Monday, September 5, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Now, OBC groups demand reservation in Lokpal panel

Now, OBC groups demand reservation in Lokpal panel
Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 04, 2011

Members of Parliament belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBCs)
categories have demanded reservation for OBCs in the Lokpal panel.
They want a quarter of the panel to be kept aside for OBCs. While
the Parliamentary Standing Committee is trying to fine-tune Team
demands into the government's version of the Lokpal Bill, MPs from
different social groups are stepping up pressure for caste-based
reservation in the first ever national ombudsman system of the

The Forum of SC/ST Parliamentarians had made a similar case for
reservations in Lokpal, both inside and outside Parliament. On
Saturday, the All-India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations led by
Udit Raj met the Prime Minister over the issue. The association also
submitted the Bahujan Lokpal Bill to the standing committee's
chairperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

"Non representation of OBCs in the Constituent Assembly has led to
inadequate representation of these major groups in all decision-making
bodies of the government after independence. Now that we are bringing
Lokpal, it is extremely necessary that OBCs should be adequately
represented in Lokpal as well as its selection committee," said V
Hanumantha Rao, convenor of Parliamentary Forum of OBC MPs, in a
letter sent to the committee on Friday.

The Rajya Sabha MP has proposed an addition to Clause 3 of the Bill
dealing with composition of Lokpal. "Of the total number, including
chairperson and other members, not less than 15% shall be from SC, not
less than 7.5% from ST and not less then 27% from OBCs, including
those of religious minorities."

The forum also wants one third of the panel to be represented by
women. The clause related to the selection committee should be amended
to give representation of one member belonging to OBCs (like chairman
of National Commission for Backward Classes), SCs, STs, minorities and
women, the letter states.

The OBC forum convenor also wants Lokpal to cover private sector, NGOs
engaged with government to deliver public services, charitable
religious trusts and the media.


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