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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Mumbai: Cabinet revises proposal over ordinance to restore OBC quota in local bodies

The Cabinet revised its decision stating that the OBCs will get a maximum of 27 per cent reservation but the total reservation of SC, ST and OBC “will not” exceed the 50 per cent quota ceiling.

Written by Vishwas Waghmode | Mumbai |
Updated: September 23, 2021 9:46:24 am
Mumbai: Cabinet revises proposal over ordinance to restore OBC quota in local bodiesThe Governor has sent the file back to the government raising a legal point of bringing this ordinance to the notice of the Supreme Court. (File Photo)

After Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari sought clarification over promulgation of an ordinance to restore OBC reservation in rural local bodies, the state Cabinet on Wednesday gave approval to amend the proposal. It will again be sent to the Governor for his approval.

Last week, months after the Supreme Court scrapped OBC quota in local bodies, the Cabinet had decided to promulgate an ordinance to restore OBC quota, apart from reservations for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) within the 50 per cent reservation ceiling in rural local bodies.

However, the Governor has sent the file back to the government raising a legal point of bringing this ordinance to the notice of the Supreme Court.

“Our law and judiciary department had mentioned on the file that the Supreme Court should be informed about the decision. The Governor has raised this point and sent the file back to us. We will make the correction in today’s Cabinet and then send it to the Governor again,” Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif had said earlier in the day.

Hence, the proposal was considered again in the Cabinet later in the day. The Cabinet revised its decision stating that the OBCs will get a maximum of 27 per cent reservation but the total reservation of SC, ST and OBC “will not” exceed the 50 per cent quota ceiling.

“As an interim provision, the rural development department will take immediate action to promulgate an ordinance, subject to the SC order of reservation up to a maximum of 27 per cent for OBCs in local bodies and the total reservation will not exceed 50 per cent. Since this ordinance is subject to SC order, there is no need of taking approval of the SC again,” said the statement issued by the Chief Minister Secretariat.

Meanwhile, the state cabinet also took a decision, on the lines of the above decision of restoring OBC reservation in rural local bodies, making similar provisions to restore the OBC reservation in the urban local bodies such as municipal corporations and municipal councils. The urban development department will promulgate an ordinance and will send it to the governor for his approval.

Interestingly, the Governor’s move of sending back the file to the government comes in the backdrop of the fresh war of letters between Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and him. The Governor first wrote to the CM asking him to consider holding a two-day session of the legislature to discuss crime against women against the backdrop of the horrific rape of a homeless woman in Mumbai earlier this month.

In reply, Thackeray told Koshyari that he should request the Prime Minister and the home minister to convene a four-day Parliament session on the national issue of crimes against women highlighting the image of Delhi as “rape capital”, of Hathras, Unnao and Badaun gangrapes in Uttar Pradesh and similar incidents in Uttarakhand and Gujarat, all BJP-ruled states.

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