Panchayat elections in Madhya Pradesh will have mandatory reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC), said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday.
Chouhan’s statement came while replying to an adjournment notice by Leader of the Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Kamal Nath on the second day of the winter session on Tuesday.
“Panchayat elections will be held following the reservation policy for OBC community in Madhya Pradesh. The state government will go to the court to oppose the Supreme Court’s judgement to stay OBC quota for Panchayat polls in Madhya Pradesh,” Chouhan said, adding that he has spoken to the Centre to seek its support on the issue.
On Tuesday, soon after the second day of the winter session began, Kamal Nath moved an adjournment notice to Speaker Girish Gautam for seeking discussion on OBC reservation issue in the state.
During the discussion, both BJP and the opposition Congress accused each other of being anti-OBC. The BJP held the Congress responsible for cancellation of OBC qota in Panchayat elections. “The Supreme Court’s judgment on this matter came on your (Congress) petition and hence you should be held responsible for it,” said Medical Education Minister Viswash Sarang.
The BJP alleged that senior advocate and Rajya Sabha MP for Congress, Vivek Tankha had opposed OBC reservation in the court.
In reply to that, Kamal Nath said that the Congress had approached the Supreme Court only for two reasons — rotation and reservation in Panchayat elections. Nath alleged that the ruling BJP issued an ordinance to conduct three-tire panchayat elections on the basis of rotation policy of 2014, which was totally against the Constitutional rules.
“Congress never opposed reservation for OBCs. We went to the court only because what you were doing was wrong. Did you speak to leader of opposition before issuing ordinance? Now, the Court gave its judgement clubbing it with the issue of OBC reservation in Maharashtra, why didn’t you oppose it?” Nath added.
Nath further said, “It would be better if both- ruling and the opposition unanimously decide to challenge SC’s decision. The Congress is ready to extend its support to the government. But, will the state government do it?” Nath asked.
Replying to that, the chief minister said, “MP Government will challenge SC’s decision on OBC reservation issue and assured that panchayat elections will be held with OBC reservation.”