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No Polls Should Be Held Until OBC Data is Collected: Maha Oppn Leader Fadnavis

Devendra Fadnavis on September 3 said elections to local governing bodies in the state should be postponed till empirical data on the OBC population is not available. (Image: Devendra Fadnavis Twitter handle)

Devendra Fadnavis on September 3 said elections to local governing bodies in the state should be postponed till empirical data on the OBC population is not available. (Image: Devendra Fadnavis Twitter handle)

he BJP leader was speaking to reporters after attending an all-party meeting called by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on the issue.

The BJP leader was speaking to reporters after attending an all-party meeting called by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on the issue.

The Supreme Court earlier this year quashed quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in local bodies in Maharashtra after observing that the total reservation should not exceed 50 per cent.

The state backward class commission should put together empirical data about the OBCs in the next three or four months. Till then, no local governing body election should be held. All parties have agreed on this," Fadnavis said.

“Even after data is collected and OBC reservation is restored, there would be an issue in three districts for which a separate policy decision should be taken," the former chief minister said.

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“If no decision is taken, there will be no reserved OBC constituency in these three districts, he added.

Asked about the backward class commission seeking Rs 437 crore, the BJP leader said that the commission does not need such a huge amount immediately. “Whatever they need now, should be given by the state government."

“Surprisingly, what I am telling the state government is not different from what the Supreme Court had asked it to do. There has been a huge delay in restoring the OBC quota," Fadnavis claimed.

On Congress MLA Naseem Khan’s demand to include those who migrated to Maharashtra decades ago in OBC quota, he said, “once the community to which such people belong is included in the state OBC list, then quota can be given."

Chandrashekhar Bavankule, another BJP leader, alleged that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition government was dragging its feet on the issue of restoration of OBC quota as a strong lobby within the government was against it.

“Those who played a crucial role in the formation of this government are now trying to delay the process….They want to keep local governing bodies under their control, the former minister alleged and warned of an agitation on the issue," he said.

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first published:September 03, 2021, 19:40 IST