No panchayat polls without reservation for OBC, resolution passed in MP Assembly




The panchayat elections in Madhya Pradesh will not be conducted without reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs), as per a resolution passed in the state Assembly on Thursday.

During the discussion on the fourth day of the winter session of the Assembly, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan put forth a proposal that ths state panchayat elections, scheduled between January 6 and February 16, 2022, will not be conducted without reservation for OBCs seats.

Chouhan made this statement soon after the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Kamal Nath urged the state government to make a clear announcement on panchayat elections, alleging that state election commission has been issuing different notifications creating confusions.

Responding to it, Shivraj Singh Chouan, who is also Leader of the House, said that the government has decided not to conduct panchayat elections in the state without reservation for OBCs. Subsequently, a unanimous resolution was passed from the Assembly on Thursday.

Chauhan also told the Assembly that the Madhya Pradesh government, along with the Centre has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. "As I had clearly said that the Madhya Pradesh government is discussing the issue with the Centre. On Wednesday, a review petition has been filed in the Supreme Court. Today, the advocate representing the state government will urge the court to give a date for urgent hearing on this matter," he added.

The apex court on December 17 had stayed polling on all OBC-reserved seats, stating that the ruling follows a similar order by the apex court for the Maharashtra municipal elections. The Court has directed the state election commission to merge all seats reserved for OBCs and to issue a fresh notification.

"You (Election Commission) cannot disobey court's direction on the pressure of the political parties. Don't try to play with fire. The role of the Election Commission has been responsible. We do not want to see a new system in Madhya Pradesh, follow the same decision passed for Maharashtra. If you not follow the decision, we will be forced to cancel panchayat elections in Madhya Pradesh," the apex court had stated on December 17.

The apex court had passed the order while hearing a plea challenging the Madhya Pradesh High Court order that accepted an application challenging the validity of the Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Raj and Gram Swaraj (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 related to reservation and delimitation in MP but refused to stay the elections to the panchayat polls.

The ordinance promulgated on November 21 by the state government had annulled the last rotation on reservation, and decided that the elections would be conducted as per the delimitation and rotation exercise carried out in 2014 by the then BJP government. Reserved seats are rotated among SCs, STs and women every five years, and the last time this happened was in 2019, when the Nath-led Congress government was in power for 15 months. -IANS

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