Decision on OBC quota in a week: CM Thackeray

Mumbai: All political parties have agreed to restore the reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in local governing bodies and a decision would be taken in a week’s time, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday.

He was speaking at an all-party meeting held on the issue at the Sahyadri Guest House here. Another meeting would be held next Friday, he said.

The state government is trying to find a way to restore political reservation for OBCs in Maharashtra after the Supreme Court read down the earlier provision.

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We all have agreed to reinstate the OBC quota in local governing bodies. The state government will study the suggestions made by various political parties. All of them have also opposed holding civic polls till the quota is reinstated,” Thackeray was quoted as saying in an official release.

The next meeting will take place on next Friday (September 3) and we will take some decision by then,” the chief minister added.

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis told reporters after the meeting that the state government should focus on compiling empirical data of OBC population as per the Supreme Court-mandated `triple test’.

“The Supreme Court has not struck down the OBC reservation, but only read down a provision. It means that if the Maharashtra government completes the triple-test procedure, political reservation can be restored. The state government should focus on it,” the former chief minister said.

A backward classes commission, one of the requirements of the triple-test, has already been set up, he said. Quantification can be done on the basis of sample and there is no need of an OBC census, Fadnavis added.

In 2019, the BJP-Shiv Sena government allotted political reservation to OBCs.

But in March 2021, the Supreme Court read down section 12(2)(c) of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 which provided 27 per cent reservation to OBCs as it breached the 50 per cent ceiling on overall quota.

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