The Maha Vikas Aghadi government will move a motion proposing the postponement of the upcoming local body elections in the absence of OBC seats. The government’s move comes days after the Supreme Court rejected the Maharashtra government’s plea to stay the upcoming local body elections till the empirical data of OBC is collected. Subsequently, the State Election Commission (SEC) in its response to the state government’s letter has conveyed that it cannot postpone the ensuing local body polls but will go ahead with it in order to avoid contempt of court.
The state government’s move coincided with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Madhya Pradesh proposing to postpone the three-tier panchayat elections in the state. The MP government has already announced in the state Assembly that panchayat elections will not be conducted without OBC reservation in Madhya Pradesh and an ordinance was also passed. Now it's up to the State Election Commission to decide on the matter.
A senior MVA minister told the Free Press Journal, ‘’ The state government will meet with the opposition on Monday to discuss the postponement of upcoming local body elections without OBC quota. The SEC proceeded with the voting in 106 nagar panchayats and two zilla parishads and panchayat samitis under their jurisdiction without OBC quota. But as per the SC order, the OBC seats will be de-reserved and the polling for these seats will take place on January 18. For a change, the government and opposition are on the same page though they differ on sharing of empirical data of OBC by the Centre. The state government wants that Centre should provide the empirical data while BJP is blaming the MVA for delays in it compilation by the State Backward Classes Commission (SVCC) .’’ He said that the state government in the supplementary demands passed in the legislature on Friday has already earmarked Rs 450 crore for the collection of empirical data by SBCC.
Another minister said the government hopes that SBCC can complete the collection of empirical data of OBC in three months. ‘’The government has already said it will provide OBC quota in local bodies below the 50% quota ceiling imposed by the apex court which has stayed the government’s ordinance in this regard. The government is of the view that the Centre should step in to carry out a constitutional amendment in order to increase the quota ceiling which will pave the way for restoration of OBC quota in local bodies,’’ he added.
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