Three separate intervention petitions will be filed in the Supreme Court with plea for either holding or altogether postponing the elections to the local bodies, even in seats reserved for OBC community on December 21. The apex court has stayed the government ordinance of a 27 per cent quota in local bodies and it has scheduled the next hearing for December 13. However, the State Election Commission (SEC) has stayed the elections in the seats reserved for OBCs, further clarifying that polling in other states will take place as per the schedule.
The intervention pleas will be filed by the state government, Samata Parishad led by NCP veteran Chhagan Bhujbal and the third by an OBC candidate from Gondia. The state government will assure the court that it will complete the OBC census or compilation of the crucial empirical data in due course and submit it to the apex court.
Former attorney General Mukul Rohatgi will appear for the government, DMK MP and senior counsel P Wilson for Samata Parishad and Kapil Sibal for the OBC candidate from Gondia district.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the entire state cabinet is in favour of the restoration of quota. He also asked why Maharashtra is treated differently when the quota in other states is in excess of the 50 per cent ceiling.
He said, “The ruling MVA is firm on its position that the December 21 elections to local bodies should either be held for all seats, including those reserved for OBCs, or be postponed altogether.” Without naming any party, Pawar accused the opposition of “creating confusion for no reason”.
Bhujbal, who was accompanied by his nephew and former NCP MP Sameer Bhujbal, met the party chief Sharad Pawar, party MP Praful Patel and also legal counsels to decide the future course of action.
“Why such injustice on OBCs from Maharashtra? The local body elections were held in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat after April this year, while the polls were conducted in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The political reservation in other states has not been affected but OBCs only from Maharashtra are being deprived of political reservation,” said Bhujbal.