The Centre has moved the Supreme Court seeking a recall of one of its orders that put a stay on the election process on seats that are reserved for members of the Other Backward Class community in Madhya Pradesh’s local bodies, PTI reported on Monday.

In its order on December 17, the Supreme Court had also asked the state Election Commission to re-notify the seats reserved for the members of the general category.

The court was hearing a petition against an ordinance passed by the Madhya Pradesh government about reservation and delimitation of constituencies in the state, according to The Indian Express.

The Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Raj and Gram Swaraj (Amendment) Ordinance, promulgated in November, had annulled the delimitation and rotation of states carried out in 2019 by the then Congress-led Kamal Nath government.

The ordinance also had provisions to carry out local body poll processes, including reservation of seats according to the delimitation and rotation carried out by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in 2014.

Reserved seats are rotated among Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women every five years.

In relation to a plea challenging this ordinance, the Supreme Court stayed the local body polls on December 15. The court also observed that it had passed a similar verdict in a case related to the local body polls in Maharashtra.

The court said that it would hear both the matters together on January 17.

In both cases, the Supreme Court noted that the provision of quota was done without the triple test mandated by it.

In the first step of the triple test, a dedicated commission is set up to hold an empirical investigation into the nature and implication of backwardness in the local bodies in a state. The second step considers the recommendations of the panel to specify the proportion of reservations needed for the local body.

The third step ensures that the reservation does not go over the aggregate 50% of the total seats reserved jointly for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.

However, the central government has now moved the Supreme Court seeking a recall of its order in the Madhya Pradesh local body polls case.

In its application, the Centre has said that upliftment of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the OBCs has been the utmost priority of the government, PTI reported. The plea contended that inadequate representation of OBCs in local self-government defeats the very objective, intent and purpose of decentralisation of power.

The Centre has also filed a plea seeking to become one of the parties in the case.

Meanwhile, on Sunday the Madhya Pradesh government decided not to conduct the local body elections at all, The Hindu reported. The state Cabinet has also decided to withdraw the ordinance that triggered the entire matter.

The decision came after the state Assembly unanimously passed a resolution that panchayat elections should not be held in the state without reservations for the OBCs as was mandated by the Supreme Court order.