Reservation politics in Maharashtra

The Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has failed to ensure political reservation for the other backward classes (OBC) in the state, BJP Dahisar MLA Manisha Chaudhari said on Tuesday. Chaudhari, along with party colleague Niranjan Davkhare, was addressing the media wherein both of them alleged the MVA to have not sponsored the empirical data required to retain the reservations due to which the same didn’t hold before the Supreme Court.

With elections to several local bodies likely to be held in the next few months, the BJP has apparently started campaigns to mobilise the community and targetting the MVA by holding it responsible for the failure of the reservations to sustain.

“The SC had asked the state to present the empirical data but the state failed to pay Rs 450 crore required for the data to be collated by the backward commission. The government failed to act in time due to which the community is unlikely to get a proper representation in the forthcoming polls. The state should stop misleading the community now,” said Chaudhari.

She added that the government had issued a notification for the reservations ahead of a few civic body elections recently but with riders that weren’t fulfilling the criteria set by the SC for a permanent reservation for the OBCs in the long run.

Meanwhile, Congress refuted the allegations and in turn, blamed the BJP for misguiding the OBCs. Rahul Pingale, Thane president of OBC cell, Congress said, “The BJP wants to keep the OBC political reservation issue unresolved. If the national census wasn’t done considering the pandemic, how can the Centre expect the state to conduct a survey? The Centre has the empirical data with them which could have been used and the state could have modified it. The BJP seems to be only interested in OBC votes but doesn’t want leaders from the communities,” said Pingale.

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