Food and civil supply minister Chhagan Bhujbal, on Thursday, met Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis and urged him to take a lead to restore OBC quota in the local bodies that were cancelled by the Supreme Court. Bhujbal said he is prepared to work with him on this issue, but reiterated that the quota needs to be restored as nearly 56,000 seats in various local bodies were affected by the apex court order in the state.
Bhujbal’s move came days after the state legislature passed a resolution, recommending the Centre to provide empirical data to the state. The government has urged the Centre to provide the 2011 census data to enable the State Backward Class Commission to prepare a data of the OBC population. Fadnavis has assured his cooperation and shared his experience about the collection of the empirical data of the Maratha community during his chief ministership in the state and how it was validated by the Supreme Court. He added that he has asked Bhujbal to take the initiative for the collection of empirical data of the OBCs. Bhujbal argued that the Centre’s intervention was necessary as if it provides empirical data to the Supreme Court then it can help to take the issue forward. “We will also approach the court, which can direct the Centre to make the data available to the state,” he said.