BMC draw for OBC quota: Many corporators left without ward

The event was held at the Bal Gandharva Auditorium in Bandra. Some prominent names will now have to look for another ward to contest the upcoming civic elections.

Kalpesh MhamunkarUpdated: Saturday, July 30, 2022, 12:05 AM IST
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BMC draw for OBC quota: Many corporators left without ward | FPJ Photo

Following the Supreme Court (SC)’s acceptance of the Banthia Commission report on OBC reservation, the state election commission (SEC) directed the BMC to conduct a lottery for OBC reservations in each of its wards in Mumbai, and accordingly, the civic body did so on Friday.

The event was held at the Bal Gandharva Auditorium in Bandra. Some prominent names will now have to look for another ward to contest the upcoming civic elections. For instance, the BJP’s group leader in the House, Prabhakar Shinde, represented Mulund ward no. 106 but after the delimitation exercise, his ward has now become ward no. 109, which is now reserved for women (open category) candidates. Similarly, ward no. 217, formerly represented by the erstwhile civic standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav is now a ward reserved for OBC woman candidate.

The SEC had issued two directives for the BMC. The first entailed that wards that had not been reserved in the 2007, 2012 and 2017 elections were to be reserved for the OBC community this time. As per the second directive, wards reserved for OBCs in 2007 but were not reserved in 2012 and 2017, had also to be reserved for the OBC community. Accordingly, 63 wards were reserved for OBCs. With the first directive, the BMC reserved 53 wards for OBC and with the second, it drew a lottery for the remaining 10 wards of OBC.

Similarly, a lottery was drawn also for the 32 OBC women candidates’ wards, of the 63 OBC seats. After the completion of OBC reservation, there were 155 open seats in the general category. A lottery draw for this category ensured 77 seats for women candidates and 79 seats for the rest of the contenders.

Ward delimitation and ward reservation processes are important pre-election steps. These two processes decide the fate of every aspirant and existing corporator in the coming election. Normally, after winning the election, every corporator works for the public so as to be able to contest in the following election but sometimes, the lottery process ruins their planning. However, there are also some candidates whose existing wards remain untouched by the reservation.

Rakhi Jadhav, group leader, Nationalist Congress Party, has lost her current ward, ward no. 130, in Ghatkopar east, because it is now reserved for an OBC woman candidate. Jadhav had won this seat in 2017, defeating the BJP’s Bhalchandra Shirsat.

The same fate has been met by Ravi Raja, the Congress group leader in the BMC, whose ward no. 182 is also reserved for a woman candidate from the open category. He expressed disappointment with the way the lottery was drawn. Speaking to the FPJ, Raja said, “After the Supreme Court order, the very next day a booklet was being circulated, mentioning where there would be OBC reservation in Mumbai. So, I have doubts about the reservation. The lottery system is nothing but an eyewash,” he declared. Further, he also alleged that the BMC chief must have erred. “if you see ward nos. 176 to 193, all 18 wards are consecutively reserved for either OBC, SC or ST or women candidates. Where is an ‘open’ candidate to go in such a case?” he asked.

BJP corporator Vinod Mishra, whose ward was reserved for a woman candidate from the open category in the May 30 lottery, is also now an open candidate. So, Mishra is relieved because of the OBC reservation. He told the FPJ, “I had almost lost hope. My well-wishers kept telling me to come to enter the BMC as a co-opted member but I refused to do so and planned to contest elections to the state assembly. But fortunately, my ward has become open now.”

Corporators who have lost their current wards

Prabhakar Shinde (BJP) 109 Woman (open)

Bhalchandra Shirsat (BJP) 130 Woman (OBC)

Ravi Raja (INC) 182 Woman (open)

Asif Zakaria (INC) 104 Woman (open)

Yashwant Jadhav (SS) 217 Woman (OBC)

Rakhi Jadhav (NCP) 130 Woman (OBC)

Sada Parab (SS) 90 Woman (open)

Samadhan Sarvankar (SS) 201 Woman (open)

Ashish Chemburkar (SS) 200 Woman (open)

Mangesh Satamkar (SS) 181 Woman (open)

Vishwanath Mahadeshwar (SS) 96 Woman (OBC)

Trushna Vishwasrao (SS) 185 Woman (OBC)

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