MP Government Approach Centre For OBC Reservation

Story Highlights
  • OBCs are back to helm political space in Madhya Pradesh over Panchayat Polls.
  • 27% OBC quota issue had landed in the High Court.
  • 3 phased panchayat polls are due in the state on January 6, 28 and February 16.

Madhya Pradesh:  Government as well as the Union government will approach the Supreme Court against a two-member bench order staying the panchayat polls on seats reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Sources said that the Union government is likely to become a party to the proposed petition of the MP government in the Supreme Court as the OBC quota order is an inter-state issue and the SC had, in an earlier order, stayed 27 per cent OBC reservation in local bodies polls in Maharashtra.

Leader of opposition and ex-chief minister Kamal Nath expressed happiness that the government had accepted Congress’s demand to approach the Supreme Court. He reiterated that Congress was with the government in this decision and the party has been calling for this step right from the time the stay order was issued. Meanwhile, Urban Development Minister Bhupendra Singh has said that the state government will ‘decide in a day or two about the fate of the ongoing panchayat poll process. The nomination filing process for the first two phases of polls was completed on December 20th. The three-phase polls are scheduled for January 6th and 28th and February 16th.

The State Election Commission had decided to go ahead with the panchayat polls process sans OBC reserved seats following the stay order on December 17th. A two-member bench of justices A.M. Khanwilkar and C.T. Ravikumar had stayed the panchayat elections on OBC reserved seats in Madhya Pradesh by extending a decision given in a case from Maharashtra. The court had asked the state government and the Election Commission to ensure that the seats that overshot the OBC quota according to constitutional norms were re-notified as general and only then go ahead with the polls on these seats.

 Former ministers Tarun Bhanot and Kamleshwar Patel of Congress and Minister Bhupendra Singh were among the main speakers before Kamal Nath took over. Nath underlined the fact that it was Congress that implemented the 27 per cent reservation of OBCs in government jobs, first in 2003 and then in 2019. He said that the constant lackadaisical attitude of successive BJP governments in court caused the stay on this decision too. CM Chouhan then came up with a long reply, blaming Congress for making superfluous moves for the OBC reservation and then not following them up. He also mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken the decision of giving a 27 per cent quota to OBC aspirants in NEET (entrance test for medical courses).

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