Updated: May 12, 2022 8:16:41 am
Following the Supreme Court issuing similar orders in case of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh on holding local bodies polls without Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota, it was decided in the state Cabinet on Wednesday that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray would speak with his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Shingh Chauhan to find a way out.
Days after giving a similar order for Maharashtra, the SC had on Tuesday expressed concern that over 23,000 local bodies in Madhya Pradesh were functioning without elected representatives for more than two years and directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to notify the elections within two weeks.
Sources in the government said that the issue of OBC quota was raised by the ministers in the Cabinet meeting. “Since the SC has given similar orders in case of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, we urged the CM speak to his counterpart in Madhya Pradesh,” a minister said. Sources added that one of the options that could be considered is filing a review petition before the SC but such a decision may be taken only after discussions with Chauhan.
The minister said that the Cabinet also expressed displeasure and concern over the affidavit filed by the Maharashtra SEC in the SC. “The SEC, while mentioning the election schedule in its affidavit, has said that it will hold the elections in September and October. The affidavit also mentioned that SEC will hold reservation lottery of local bodies in July but didn’t mention OBC. There was no need to mention these things in the affidavit. It was unnecessary. The SEC is not cooperating with us.”
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As per the affidavit, the SEC has urged the SC to allow it to complete processes like ward formations, lottery for reservation of SC, ST and women as well as division of voter lists in July. It also urged the court to allow it to hold the elections of urban local bodies in September and that of rural local bodies in October.
The SC, on May 4, asked the SEC to announce the election programme of local bodies in two weeks.
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