Days after the ruling and opposition parties agreed that the task of collecting OBC political reservation data (empirical data) should be done by the State Backward Classes Commission (SBCC), the Nationalist Congress Party on Wednesday reiterated that until then, elections to the local and civic bodies should be postponed. However, at the meeting of sitting and former legislators chaired by party chief Sharad Pawar, the NCP admitted that elections could not be indefinitely avoided and said if the state election commission were to announce a poll schedule, the party would field OBC candidates in seats that would have otherwise been reserved for the community.
The NCP’s decision comes at a time when the Supreme Court has quashed political reservation for OBCs in local and civic bodies. The state has approached the Supreme Court with a plea to direct the Centre to share the empirical data on OBCs.
NCP chief spokesman and Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said, “Elections cannot be avoided for a long time. It remains to be seen whether reservation can be given by uniting all the parties by enacting a law. In these circumstances, the election commission officials have taken the stand in the apex court that they can hold elections when the corona situation is under control. If the Supreme Court orders elections, there would be no other option but to contest it. In such circumstances, NCP will field OBC candidates in vacant OBC seats.”
Earlier, the BJP too had declared that it would be fielding OBC nominees in seats that would have been reserved for OBCs.