Post-Supreme Court verdict, Maha readies for local bodies polls with OBC quotas

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Supreme Court of India

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With the Supreme Court's nod to the J.K. Banthia Commission Report on political reservations for Other Backward Class (OBC), Maharashtra has set the ball rolling to conduct the delayed elections to various local bodies in the state.

Mumbai: With the Supreme Court's nod to the J.K. Banthia Commission Report on political reservations for Other Backward Class (OBC), Maharashtra has set the ball rolling to conduct the delayed elections to various local bodies in the state.

In what promises to be a 'mini-general election', the Maharashtra State Election Commission (SEC) sources said it will go ahead with the programme for the polls in 23 Municipal Corporations, 220 Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats, 25 Zilla Parishads and 284 Panchayat Samitis across the state.

The development came after Supreme Court accepted the J.K. Banthia Commission Report recommending 27 per cent reservations overall, with the SEC likely to declare the local bodies election schedule within two weeks, as directed by the apex court on Wednesday.

The panel headed by a former state chief secretary, was set up by the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in March 2022, to collate the empirical data of the OBC communities scattered around the state, with plans to hold a caste-based Census before the government collapsed on June 29.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party leaders like Jayant Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal, Dhananjay Munde, Congress' Nana Patole, Vijay Wadettivar and Atul Londhe, Bharatiya Janata Party's Chandrakant Patil and Pankaja Munde, among many others from different parties and OBC leaders have welcomed the Supreme Court verdict.

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