In a tussle for credit for the Supreme Court’s decision restoring political reservation to members of Other Backward Class (OBC) community in the state, local BJP leaders were full of praise for Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadanavis for fulfilling a promise made to the people while NCP leaders hailed the efforts of former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in restoring the OBC quota.
Incidentally, neither the BJP nor NCP leaders mentioned Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who was the state urban development minister in the MVA government, or former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray while claiming credit for the return of OBC reservation.
The elections to local bodies, including the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), were postponed unanimously by all political parties in the state legislative assembly to ensure they are held only after the OBC reservation is restored.
However, the Supreme Court ordered no further postponement of the civic elections, directing the state election commission to hold the polls as early as possible. The MVA, meanwhile, had formed the Banthiya Commission as per the Supreme Court direction for preparing the necessary report on the basis of which the reservation was to be finalised. The commission recently submitted its report to the state government and the apex court.
“Devendra Fadnavis has fulfilled his promise. This has been possible due to the efforts of the saffron alliance government. This is a victory for the entire OBC community. I am thankful to this government,” former mayor Murlidhar Mohol said.
The BJP’s Pune chief Jagdish Mulik tweeted, “I thank the Supreme Court for (its) decision to hold the civic elections with reservation for OBC. The efforts and study by Devendra Fadnavis on the subject has worked. I am thankful to him for ensuring justice for (the) OBC community.”
However, NCP leader Deepali Dhumal said the Supreme Court’s decision is a direct fallout of the efforts undertaken by the previous MVA government. The city unit of the NCP celebrated the restoration of OBC reservation by distributing sweets while giving credit to the MVA. Party leaders raised slogans thanking Ajit Pawar and NCP chief Sharad Pawar for successfully getting the OBC reservation restored in the state.