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MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan takes pot-shots at Maha CM Uddhav Thackeray over OBC reservation

‘Maha CM can find a way out if he really understands plight of State’s OBC community,’ remarked MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan


Mumbai:Taking pot-shots at Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over the Maharashtra’s government’s alleged failure to ensure reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) community in the state, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday said that his Maharashtra counterpart could certainly find a way out of the impasse if he were really aware of the plight of the OBC community in Maharashtra. 

He was speaking at Gopinathgadh in Beed where he was invited by BJP leader Pankaja Munde to speak on the occasion of the death anniversary of her late father, Gopinath Munde. The late Gopinath Munde was a tall, commanding leader of the OBC community in Maharashtra.

The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister remarked “When the Supreme Court of India scrapped reservation for MP’s OBC community in the local body polls, I immediately announced there would be no elections unless we had secured reservation for the community. Accordingly, I directed the MP backward castes commission to do everything required to make reservation stick for the OBCs. We selected a high-profile lawyer and I briefed him personally. After working day and night for four months, the SC accorded 35% reservation for OBCs after which I announced the civic body polls.” 

Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that if Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and the ruling MVA government really intended to give reservation to Maharashtra’s OBCs, then a way could easily be found.  

Last month, after the Supreme Court of India had paved the decks for the implementation of reservation for OBC in the local body elections in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, the Maharashtra BJP led by its former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis lashed out at the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi’s (MVA) government’s ‘ineptness’ to complete the triple test which would have ensured reservation for the State’s OBC community ahead of the local body polls.

Fadnavis had slammed the MVA’s for its alleged foot-dragging arguing that had virtually “murdered” OBC reservation issue in the State, while contrasting the Maharashtra government’s apparently lackadaisical approach to that of Chouhan’s proactive approach in Madhya Pradesh.  

“The Madhya Pradesh government had prepared its empirical data on the OBC community and submitted its report to the SC, which had rejected the government’s consolidated report. The MP government, which constituted a dedicated commission, then immediately prepared OBC data specifically with regards to local bodies and furnished it before the Apex court. While we (BJP) have been urging the MVA government to prepare empirical data for the past two-and-a-half years, its leaders did nothing but make speeches,” remarked Fadnavis further.

As part of the ‘triple test’, a dedicated commission is set up to conduct an empirical investigation to determine the backwardness of the community in the local bodies as a first step, while the second step concerns the panel’s recommendations specifying the proportion of reservation needed for the local body and 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 OBCs. 

In December last year, the Supreme Court of India had dismissed the Maharashtra government’s writ petition which sought the Centre to make public the raw data it had gathered in the 2011 socio-economic caste census (SECC-2011). The government had sought the SECC 2011 data from the Centre for implementing reservation to the OBC community in local body polls. However, the apex court quashed the plea on grounds that the Centre had already submitted that the SECC 2011 data was riddled with mistakes.  


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