Maharashtra Assembly adjourned twice as MVA govt and BJP blame each other over OBC quota issue

PTIUpdated: Friday, March 04, 2022, 01:16 PM IST
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Maharashtra Assembly | File

The MVA government and opposition BJP on Friday blamed each other in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for the Supreme Court's rejection of the interim report of the State Backward Classes Commission, which recommended that 27 per cent quota can be granted to the community in the local body polls in the state.

Due to slogan-shouting by the members, Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal adjourned the House twice - once for 20 minutes and later till the end of the Question Hour.

As soon as the Lower House assembled for the day, the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) quota issue was raised by Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis through an adjournment notice.

The former chief minister demanded that the issue be taken up for discussion and the rest of the business be set aside.

He said there should be no election to local bodies in the state till the political quota of the OBCs is restored.

Fadnavis termed the interim report of the commission, which was rejected by the apex court, as a mockery.

"The report has no date about when the data was collected and does not carry any signatures. The state's lawyers failed to explain on what basis the 27 per cent quota has been recommended," he said.

In the coming days, two third local bodies of the state will have to go to polls and if they take place without the OBC quota, the community will not get any representation, he added.

"What happened in the Supreme Court was shameful for Maharashtra," Fadnavis said, and demanded that the state enact a law, which will allow it to fix the dates of local bodies elections.

Maharashtra Food and Civil Supplies Minister and prominent OBC leader, Chhagan Bhujbal, admitted that there could be some technical mistakes in the report since it was compiled expeditiously.

In 2010, the apex court had asked for compilation of empirical data regarding information of political backwardness of the OBCs. The UPA government had started the process of collecting the data which was submitted in 2016, but the Modi government did not share the data with the state, he said.

"Even Fadnavis, who was state chief minister for five years, did not do anything on that front," Bhujbal alleged.

"Neither you nor the Modi government took any further steps further and now you are blaming us," he said and accused Fadnavis of indulging in politics.

After Bhujbal's statement, Zirwal said he was rejecting the adjournment notice and called for the question hour. But the BJP legislators started shouting slogans, following which the House was adjourned for 20 minutes. But when the proceedings resumed after that, the slogan-shouting continued, due to which it was adjourned for the second time till the end of the question hour.

The Supreme Court on Thursday said it is "not possible" to permit any authority to act upon the recommendation made in the interim report of the state Backward Classes Commission, which has said that up to 27 per cent reservation can be granted to the OBCs in the local bodies in Maharashtra, subject to the condition that the total quota shall not exceed 50 per cent limit.

The apex court said the report itself mentions that it has been prepared in the absence of empirical study and research by the commission.

The top court directed all concerned not to act upon the interim report of the commission.

On January 19, the top court had directed the state government to submit data on OBCs to the commission to examine its correctness and make recommendations on their representation in elections for the local bodies.

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