Mumbai: Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil on Thursday said that the party would not let the state government conduct local body elections until the issue of OBC reservation is resolved.
In March this year, the Supreme Court had said that reservation in favour of Other Backward Classes (OBS) in concerned local bodies in the state cannot exceed aggregate 50 per cent of the total seats reserved for Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and OBCs taken together.
The apex court, while reading down section 12(2)(c) of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act 1961 which provided 27 per cent reservation for persons belonging to backward class, also quashed the notifications issued by the state election commission in 2018 and 2020 providing reservation exceeding 50 per cent in local bodies of some districts.
Speaking to reporters here, Patil said, "The BJP's state unit will not let the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government conduct any local body elections until the issue of OBC reservation is resolved. It is this government's deeds that the OBC community lost the political reservation." The state election commission (SEC) had last month deferred the scheduled bypolls to local bodies in the state, which had been announced earlier in keeping with Supreme Court directives without an OBC quota.
After the SC directed that by-polls for seats meant for OBC candidates should be filled with candidates from the open category, the SEC had said the bypolls in five zilla parishads and 33 municipal councils would be held on July 19. The state government had written twice to the SEC, requesting it to postpone the bypolls in view of the pandemic and the possible third wave.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)