Maharashtra government to issue ordinance for OBC quota in local body bypolls

Maharashtra has taken cues from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to provide political quota through the ordinance route, said the Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray (File Photo | PTI)
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray (File Photo | PTI)

MUMBAI:  Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to issue an ordinance to restore reservations for members of the Other Backward Class (OBC) in local body elections. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting.

After the meeting, OBC leader and NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal addressed the media and said, “The restoration of 27 per cent reservations of OBC will be done on the line of Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh where despite court orders, these states restored the OBC reservations.” The OBCs get 27% reservation in electoral wards of municipal bodies and zilla parishads.

This quota is politically important because Marathas and OBCs are locked in a tussle for political dominance in the state. Since both communities have a large presence, so no one party can afford to lose the support of OBC.

“We will not cross the 50 per cent cap of reservations. Keeping aside the ST and SC reservations, the remaining reservations within a 50 per cent cap will be given to the OBC community. In some of the districts, the ST population is high therefore in such districts, they will get more reservations while OBC’s reservations will be curtailed. The 90 per cent OBC reservations in local body polls will be restored,” Bhujbal said.

Bhujbal said that even though anyone goes against the ordinance of restoring OBC reservations, the court will not entertainment them. “The reason the state government has right to issue the ordinance to restore the reservations. The OBCs are fighting for their rights since their birth. The fighting for our rights is new for us. The fight will continue,” the NCP minister said. Earlier, the Supreme Court had struck down the OBC reservations, citing there was no data to extend the OBC reservations in local body polls. On Wednesday, the BJP staged a protest over the decision.

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The New Indian Express