Updated: October 4, 2021 9:19:57 am
THE CAMPAIGNING for the byelection for the OBC seats in six zilla parishads of Dhule, Nandurbar, Akola, Washim, Nagpur, Palghar and panchayat samitis under it ended on Sunday. While the voting will take place for 85 zilla parishad seats and 144 panchayat samiti seats on Tuesday, the counting will be held on Wednesday.
The by-polls will be the first elections to be held in the state after the Supreme Court order on March 4 on the OBC quota. Elections to these seats had been held earlier subject to the outcome of the petitions challenging the quota that the Supreme Court was then considering.
Aside from the ruling that there would be no OBC quota in the local bodies until the state gathers empirical data on OBCs, the SC also ordered the immediate vacation of the OBC seats and asked the state poll panel to initiate byelections for these seats from the general category.
While the OBC reservation seemed to be the issue initially in the byelection, many local issues seemed to have come up during the campaigning. Congress’s Dairy Development Minister Sunil Kedar and state Congress President Nana Patole campaigned in the byelections.
Earlier on June 22, the State Election Commission announced that the voting in zilla parishad and panchayat samiti seats would be held on July 19 but the SEC on July 9 announced that it was staying the byelection “at the stage where it is today” due to the Covid situation stating that it would announce the completion of the remaining stages of the elections after the improvement in the covid situation. Last month, the SEC announced the by-polls from the stage where it was stayed.
In the last week of September, the government promulgated an ordinance to restore 27 per cent reservation for the OBC provided that it does not exceed the 50 per cent reservation limit. However, it did not apply to the byelections in these six zilla parishads and panchayat samitis.
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