Madhya Pradesh will seek review of SC order to hold local body polls without OBC quota
The Supreme Court told the state poll panel to notify the programme for holding local body elections within two weeks without providing reservation for OBCs.
The Madhya Pradesh government will file a plea to review a Supreme Court order directing the State Election Commission to notify local body elections without reservation for Other Backward Classes, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Tuesday, according to PTI.
Chouhan made the statement while speaking to the media shortly after the court gave the directive.
“We will again request the [Supreme Court] that local body elections should be held with the provision of OBC reservation,” the chief minister said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court told the state poll panel to notify the programme for holding local body elections within two weeks without providing reservation for OBCs, the Hindustan Times reported.
A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said that the state government cannot introduce reservation for the category unless it carries out a triple test exercise that had been mandated for such cases by the Supreme Court in 2010.
The triple test exercise requires that states that wish to introduce reservation should appoint a commission to study the need for the quota, and collect data on the backwardness on the community in question in each local body. The state government also has to ensure that the extent of reservation does not exceed the cap of 50% that has been set by the Supreme Court.
The court said that elections could not be delayed, as the term of the representatives would be over. Authorities have a constitutional obligation to hold elections on time, the court said.
Commenting on the verdict, Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Kamal Nath alleged that Chouhan’s government never wanted OBCs to get the benefit of reservation. “The anti-OBC face of the Shivraj government has once again come to the fore.”
Nath alleged that the state government presented an incomplete report and incomplete figures before the Supreme Court, and failed to complete the triple test exercise. He said that the Congress’ stand remains that elections for panchayats and urban local bodies should not take place without reservation for OBCs.