The Centre has said it is considering moving a review petition before the Supreme Court to allow “political reservation” of Other Backward Classes in local bodies and municipal corporations till the states comply with the apex court's triple test criteria.
The development comes after the Supreme Court decided to strike down the recent 27 percent reservation in favour of OBCs in local bodies made by Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh governments.
"In this connection, states are being advised to follow the reservation policy as per provisions of the Constitution in the election to the local bodies after observing all the criteria set forth by the Supreme Court," the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry said in a statement issued late Monday night.
The ministry said it is also considering moving a review petition before the Supreme Court to allow “political reservation” of OBCs in the local bodies and municipal corporations till the states comply with the triple test criteria set forth by the top court.
Political reservation is reservation of several seats in Parliament, state assemblies, urban and rural-level institutions for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes.
The triple test includes setting up a dedicated commission to conduct a contemporaneous rigorous empirical inquiry into the nature and implications of the backwardness as regards local bodies within the state. The second condition is to specify the proportion of reservation required to be provisioned local body-wise as per recommendations of the commission. The third test is the reservation should not exceed an aggregate of 50 percent of the seats reserved in favour of SCs, STs and OBCs taken together.
The Centre said it is concerned about the matter and is examining the issue in its entirety taking into account the opinion of all stakeholders including the Ministry of Panchayati Raj and Parliamentary Affairs, the Department of Legal Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Supreme Court has directed the State Election Commission of Maharashtra to notify 27 percent seats in the local body, which were reserved for the OBCs, as general category so that the poll process can be taken forward.
Also, the apex court on Friday directed the Madhya Pradesh State Election Commission to stay the poll process on seats reserved for OBCs in the local body there and re-notify those seats for the general category.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Uma Bharti on Monday had claimed that panchayat polls in her party-ruled Madhya Pradesh without reservation for the OBCs will be an injustice to about 70 percent of the state's population.
She urged state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to find a way out that these polls are not held without ensuring the participation of the OBCs.