Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Election Commission has postponed elections to 92 nagar parishads and 4 nagar panchayats slated for August 18 in view of the Supreme Court hearing on matters relating to restoration of OBC quota in local bodies. The SEC has stayed the election process for these civic bodies which was to start from July 20.
As reported by the Free Press Journal, the SEC had announced a time schedule for elections to 4 nagar panchayats and 92 nagar parishads on August 4.
However, the SEC under secretary Sanjay Sawant issued a notification on Thursday and stayed the poll process in 92 nagar parishads and 4 nagar panchayats. This was done after the Supreme Court convened the next hearing on OBC quota petitions on July 19 after the state government submitted a report prepared by the Dedicated Commission on OBCs on empirical data of OBCs in Maharashtra. Sawant said the SEC would issue the revised poll schedule in due course of time. In view of today’s stay on the poll process, the model code of conduct in the respective districts has been withdrawn.
As per the Supreme Court order on July 12, the nomination process started for 271 gram panchayats would continue as it has not been stayed. The polling for these bodies is slated for August 18.
SEC’s move came in the wake of strong demands by the BJP, NCP and Congress for the postponement of the elections to the 92 nagar parishads and 4 nagar panchayats especially after the submission of empirical data on OBCs prepared by the Dedicated Commission to the apex court. The ruling and opposition parties have argued that these elections should be deferred in the wake of heavy rains and floods and also due to lack of OBC quota. They had demanded that the local body elections should be conducted only after the restoration of political reservation to OBCs.