Two days after the Supreme Court stayed 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in local body elections in Maharashtra, political parties have started levelling allegations at each other of working against the OBC community.
The city unit of BJP staged a protest against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance on Wednesday for failing to get the Supreme Court to approve its ordinance on political reservation for the OBC community. “The MVA has cheated the OBC community and done them injustice. The court had sought empirical data but the state government failed to collect and submit it. The present state government does not want the OBC leadership to grow. They issued an ordinance despite knowing it would not stand in court. The state government has no interest in giving reservation to OBCs. The apex court decision has proved that the MVA don’t want to give political reservation to OBCs and is only blaming the Union government,” said Yogesh Tilekar, in-charge of the BJP’s OBC cell in state.
The NCP’s Pune unit held demonstrations outside the office of BJP MP Girish Bapat in Kasba Peth. “The state governments had shared the data with the Union government in 2013, but the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is hiding the data and not submitting it in the court. The Modi government is cheating citizens. Their intention is to remove reservation meant for OBCs, SCs and STs,” said city NCP chief Prashant Jagtap.
City Shiv Sena chief Sanjay More said it was the BJP under former chief minister Devendra Fadanavis that introduced an ordinance on July 19, 2019 to reduce reservation for OBCs without undertaking any study. “The ordinance by the BJP government said reservation for OBCs would be based on the percentage of their population. So, political reservation for OBCs was reduced in 20 districts. There were 431 seats reserved for OBCs in the local bodies in 20 districts and the number was reduced to 105 seats,” he said.
“The apex court’s decision to stay political reservation for OBCs in local bodies in the state is till the next hearing and not permanent, but the BJP is trying to showcase its fake concern towards the OBC community,” he added.
The Supreme Court has said elections cannot be held until the ward-wise data of OBC population is submitted, but the BJP-led Union government is deliberately withholding data, More said, adding that Fadanavis and Pankaja Munde, too, had sought the empirical data from the Centre but they were turned down.
More said that the Union government did not share the empirical data as it is wrong data. So, a commission was appointed for collecting empirical data but the state government did not support it, he added.
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