Maha Vikas Aghadi, which is currently involved in a legal battle over the restoration of the Maratha quota, faced a new political challenge after the Supreme Court said that reservation in favour of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in concerned local bodies in Maharashtra cannot exceed an aggregate 50 per cent of the total seats reserved for Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and OBCs taken together.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, on Friday, announced in the state assembly that the government is exploring an option to move the apex court with a review petition against its ruling.
SC said that election results of OBC candidates, which had been made subject to the outcome of pleas pending before it, are declared as non-est in law and the vacancy of seats be forthwith filled up by the SEC for the remainder term of the local bodies concerned.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis raised the issue in the assembly and demanded that the Question Hour be set aside and the MVA government make a statement. He said that the top court judgement will have a far reaching impact on the OBC quota. He lashed out at the state government for neglecting the OBC quota issue and not forming a commission to collect empirical data on the OBC population.
"I demand that the government file a review petition citing the COVID-19 pandemic and form an OBC commission at the earliest. The government should seek a stay on the order,” he said.
Pawar, in his response, said that elections to local bodies as per the Mandal Commission-mandated quota (for OBCs) have been held since 1994. He noted, “The Supreme Court order is only regarding local bodies in Dhule, Nandurbar, Nagpur, Akola, Washim, Bhandara and Gondia districts. But, if Fadnavis says the entire state can be impacted, we will have to find a solution. I suggest all of us meet to discuss and find a way out,” the Dy CM said.