MUMBAI: The demand for restoration of OBC quota in local civic bodies has triggered a political slugfest between the ruling and Oppositions parties in Maharashtra. Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that if BJP is voted to power, then he would bring back the OBC reservations in the local bodies and its polls within four months.
“If I fail to give the OBC reservations, then, I will take permanent political sanyas (renunciation). The Maha Vikas Aghadi is responsible for this reservation mess in Maharashtra. The Uddhav Thackeray government is neither able to give reservation to the Maratha community nor the OBCs.”
NCP state president Jayant Patil held Fadnavis and the BJP responsible for cancellations of Maratha and OBC reservations. “While approving these decisions, Fadnavis did not follow the proper legal procedure and deliberately left the loopholes that were highlighted in the Supreme Court orders.”
He said that Fadnavis should not daydream of coming back to power in Maharashtra. “It is better for the Leader of Opposition to share the formula or the trick that he wants to use to bring back the OBC reservation. Fadnavis should not work only for power, but he should do it without grabbing power also.”
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant was equally scathing. “Fadnavis made a public statement that when the BJP is voted in 2014, in the first cabinet meeting only the Dhangar community will get reservations. He also promised the same to Maratha and other communities. What happened? No one got the reservations but Fadnavis enjoyed power for five years. This time too, he is lying to grab power, but the people are wise enough to understand his guile.”
Sawant said Fadnavis had issued the ordinance for OBC reservations on July 31, 2019 in local body elections where it was mentioned that as per the populations of the OBC, reservations will be allocated to them. “When this decision was challenged in Supreme Court and the court asked the data of OBC populations, the government failed to submit it. Because there was no survey done BJP keeps mum over it,” Sawant alleged. NCP minister, Chhagan Bhujbal said that if Fadnavis promises to usher in the OBC reservation again in local bodies, then he is ready to meet any central government minister with the former Maharashtra chief minister.
SC firm on its order
The Supreme Court rejected the state government’s review petition concerning reservation to the OBCs. It has ruled that the reservation in favour of the OBC in local bodies should not result in exceeding the 50% cap