MVA govt. not serious about reservation for OBCs: Fadnavis

Congress highlights Centre’s failure to provide key information to Supreme Court

Even as the row over the Maratha reservation continues to flare in Maharashtra, the State is set to witness an uproar over the Supreme Court striking down reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the local body elections.

Devendra Fadnavis, the Leader of Opposition and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, on Saturday wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging that the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had never been serious about political reservation for OBCs.

“The State government’s review petition has been rejected. It happened because of unpardonable negligence of the State towards the issue. The MVA government was never serious about the issue,” said Mr. Fadnavis in his letter to the CM.

“During one of the hearings, the apex court had asked the State government to set up a backward classes commission and produce empirical data that would justify the reservation. However, the State did not follow it,” he said.

The Congress, however, used the issue to criticise the BJP government in the Centre. The party claimed that the situation arose as a result of the Centre taking up the demand for an OBC census. State Congress chief Nana Patole also wrote to Mr. Thackeray on Saturday and highlighted the Centre’s failure to provide key information to the apex court.

“The Supreme Court had sought data on the population of OBCs. The Centre conveyed that it cannot provide the information. The present reservation is as per the 1931 Census and the court had given its verdict based on that,” he said.

The Congress said the Centre’s position on reservation damaged the case for Maratha reservation and now that of the OBCs. “It is clear that the BJP-led Central government is working to damage the reservation policy,” he said.

When Mr. Patole served as Speaker of the State Assembly, he had introduced a resolution seeking OBC census, which was unanimously passed by the House.

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