BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) has decided to challenge the reservation of seats announced by the State government for panchayat polls which does not have any provision for Scheduled Tribes (STs) in 23 out of 30 districts.
Announcing this at a media conference, chairman of the party’s media cell Ganeswar Behera said that the units of the districts concerned have been asked to file objection before the collectors in this regard. The last date for filing of objection on reservation of seats is January 3.
“After filing of objections, we will wait till January 7 when the final notification is slated to be issued. If the discrepancy is not corrected, Congress will challenge it in the court and launch an agitation,” he added.
Alleging that the government has violated constitutional provisions by not reserving any seat for STs in 23 non-scheduled districts, Behera said Article 243 (D) of the Constitution provides for reservation for SCs and the STs in every panchayat.
Provisions have also been made in Odisha Gram Panchayat Act, 1964 and Panchayat Samiti Act, 1959 for reservation of seats for STs.