Minister moves Bill in Rajya Sabha, withdraws it

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New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) In another embarrassment for the Narendra Modi government, Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot on Monday moved a bill in Rajya Sabha but seconds later asked the Chair to withdraw it.

It was not just the Minister who fumbled, even Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien, who was presiding over the House, too as he almost announced adjournment for the day, but then suddenly realised that the House had to take up another Bill and asked Gehlot to move the Bill.

The Bill in question was the National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017, listed to be discussed and passed along with the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty third Amendment) Bill, 2017.

So after Rajya Sabha passed the Amendment Bill sans Clause 3, Gehlot, as decided, moved the Repeal Bill.

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“I move the (Repeal) Bill be passed,” Gehlot said and sat down.

However, seconds later, he realised that this could not be moved unless the 123rd Amendment mandating a National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward classes had been passed by Parliament.

Since the first Bill was passed in its entirety, Gehlot quickly asked for its withdrawal.

As the Chair took up the Bill, an alarmed minister stood up and said: “One minute. If the 2017 Bill (replacing OBC Commission) is not passed and the existing Bill is repealed, the OBC Commission will be left without a legal basis.”

Kurien then asked the Minister to withdraw the Bill, which the latter promptly did, but not before giving the members a chance to laugh after some heated exchanges earlier.

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