Maharashtra government ‘killed’ political reservation for OBCs: Devendra Fadnavis

Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday claimed that the incompetence of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra deprived the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) of reservation in the local body elections even as Madhya Pradesh secured the same. The ministers in the MVA government “who failed to get the OBC quota” should resign, he demanded.

The Supreme Court, on December 12, 2019, had asked the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government to complete the ‘triple test’ necessary for establishing that OBCs should be given a quota in local government bodies, he told reporters here.

But the government kept pointing fingers at the Union government (over a lack of necessary data) for one year, the former chief minister said.

A commission was formed to prepare a report, but it was not given adequate funds and staff, and eventually the SC rejected its report, Fadnavis said in Nagpur.

In neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, the government, after the court’s order, completed the triple test and submitted a report, he said.

“When the apex court asked for a report in a different form last week, that too was submitted promptly,” the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly added.

The court today allowed OBC reservation in that state, Fadnavis said.

“I want to congratulate the MP government and would like to add that the incompetent Maharashtra government has killed the OBC political reservation. OBC reservation would have been implemented in the state had the Maharashtra government done the triple test on time,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, talking to reporters in Mumbai, BJP MLA Devyani Farande criticised the MVA government over the issue and demanded CM Thackeray’s resignation for his “failure” to ensure reservation to the OBCs.

She also termed as “completely misleading” some state ministers’ statement that the Supreme Court’s decision to allow OBC quota in Madhya Pradesh local body polls could be applicable to Maharashtra as well.

First of all, the Maharashtra government delayed the setting up of the backward commission for collection of empirical data on time and then further delayed allotment of funds for it, she said.

“It is completely misleading on behalf of the MVA government to say that the Supreme Court’s decision to allow OBC quota ahead of local governing bodies election in MP is applicable to in Maharashtra as well. The MP government had already submitted the empirical data before the SC, which is why the apex court gave permission to that government,” she said.

But the MVA government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has completely failed in securing the political quota for the community, she alleged and added, “Thackeray should step down from his post.”

“I am surprised to see the comments of two Maharashtra ministers – Chhagan Bhujbal and Jitendra Awhad – who are misleading people saying that the SC decision in the case of Madhya Pradesh will be applicable to Maharashtra as well. The Supreme Court is not opposed to the OBC quota, but the since MVA government has not collected the empirical data, how can the quota be provided to the community in the state?” she asked.

It seems unavoidable that the local body polls in Maharashtra will be held without the OBC quota and its complete blame lies with the MVA government, the BJP legislator alleged.

Targeting NCP leader Bhujbal, she said he had quit the Shiv Sena claiming that the party opposed the Mandal Commission‘s recommendations, which benefited the OBCs largely. “Will he dare to do the same now as the MVA government has failed to secure quota for the OBCs?” she asked.

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