CM Bommai: Karnataka may opt for new commission to assess quota
To pave way for BBMP polls a new commission will likely be set up by the BJP government in Karnataka in order to facilitate the reservation of seats for OBCs in local polls as mandated by recent orders of the Supreme Court.CM Bommai had previously said local bodies polls will only be held after providing reservation for backward classes.
A new commission will likely be set up by the BJP government in Karnataka in order to facilitate the reservation of seats for OBCs in local polls as mandated by recent orders of the Supreme Court. This commission will carry out a survey of the number of people in the backward castes category.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai held an all-party consultation on the issue of holding local BBMP polls which should have taken place after the BBMP's term expired in September 2020.
“A Commission would have to be constituted for the purpose. Appropriate measures would be taken in the backdrop of the recent Supreme Court order,” he said. CM Bommai had announced previously that local bodies polls will only be held after providing reservations for backward classes.
“We discussed in detail possible measures to provide reservation for Backward Classes and how to conduct the elections in the backdrop of the SC order. The Advocate General explained the legal aspects,” Bommai said after the meeting held on Thursday.
This comes after the Supreme Court's recent orders, which direct that political reservations can be provided for OBCs in the country only on the basis of empirical data on numbers and backwardness of caste groups.
The most recent Supreme Court order, which came on January 19, 2022, was at a time when local body polls in Karnataka were overdue by nearly two years, for 198 seats in the Bengaluru city corporation, 1083 zilla panchayat seats in 30 districts, and 3903 seats in 175 taluk panchayats, according to reports.
Bommai further added that, “We have the options of conducting elections after constituting a commission and getting its report or to file a review petition in the Supreme Court. But it is impossible to hold elections without reservation for backward classes.”
“The meeting also discussed increasing reservation for STs to 7.5% (from 3%) in accordance their population growth. The previous government had constituted the Justice Nagamohan Das Commission in this regard. The Commission has submitted its report to the previous BS Yeddyurappa government. The Commission has recommended increasing the SC, ST reservation quota. We have to make a decision accordingly,” Bommai said.
“There is also the issue of a 50% ceiling on quota, whether we should cross it and how to go about it legally. A meeting would be convened again in a month and a final decision on reservations and pending demands will be taken in consultation with the Opposition parties," he said.