Reservation in Local body polls

The 73rd and 74th amendments provided compulsory reservation for SCs, STs, and women in Panchayats and Municipalities. However, reservation for backward classes is left to the discretion of state governments.

OBC reservation in Maharashtra local body polls

  • Maharashtra has decided to provide reservations for OBCs in local body polls. However, in January 2022, the Supreme Court directed the Maharashtra government to submit data on OBCs to the Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes (MSCBC) to make recommendations on the representation of OBCs in elections to the local bodies.
  • Later, the Maharashtra government submitted the data on OBCs to MSCBC. In February 2022, MSCBC submitted a report in which it recommended up to 27% reservation for OBCs in elections to the local bodies.
  • However, in March 2022, the Supreme Court rejected the report because of a lack of empirical study and research by MSCBC.

Recent bills passed by Maharashtra

  • On 7th March 2022, Maharashtra state legislature had passed two bills that laid the grounds for the postponement of Maharashtra’s local body elections till Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservation is restored.
  • These bills amended the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act, the Maharashtra Municipal Councils, Nagar Panchayats, and Industrial Townships Act, 1965, the Maharashtra Village Panchayats Act, and the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961.

If a proper report with empirical data regarding OBCs is presented before the Supreme Court, the Maharashtra government would be able to restore OBC reservation in local body polls.

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