In PMC, OBCs to get up to 47 reserve seats after SC order
In PMC, OBCs may have up to 47 seats reserved for them for the 173 members to be elected from 58 electoral panels for general body
Pune: After Wednesday’s verdict by the Supreme Court (SC) restoring Other Backward Castes (OBCs) reservation in local bodies, the State Election Commission (SEC) will initiate the preparations for holding polls in local bodies with OBC quota for which yet another round of lottery draw for deciding reserve seats will be carried out, officials said.
Following the recommendations of the Banthia commission, the SET within next few days will determine reservation for OBCs in each of the local bodies, including Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. Officials said SEC will direct the local administration to hold draws to fix reservation on the seats as per the quota.
Though the apex court has accepted the report of commission which had recommended 27 per cent reservation, but order is not out yet and there is no clarity how much quota to be reserved for OBC in civic polls.
In Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), OBCs may have up to 47 seats reserved for them for the 173 members to be elected from 58 electoral panels for general body. According to Yashwant Mane, deputy commissioner, election wing, PMC, the fresh round of draw will only determine reservation for OBCs.
“Once the SEC prepares schedule for polls, we will conduct draw for OBC reservation. In PMC, OBCs will have 47 seats reserved which is 27 per cent of total strength of general body. While conducting the draw, seats reserved for SCs and STs will remain untouched,” said Mane.
As decided by SEC, 87 seats have already been reserved for women, 23 for SCs, and two for STs.
Political workers from different parties and administrative officers are expecting municipal elections likely to be held between Dussehra and Diwali festivals in October or in the last week of September this year.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted the report submitted by Banthia commission to provide 27 per cent political reservation for OBC communities.
The apex court also asked election commission to declare poll schedule in next two weeks.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) city unit president Prashant Jagtap said, “We are hoping that elections will be held between September and October. Most probably before Diwali. It was our demand to allow political reservation before holding the election. Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) had constituted the commission whose report was accepted by the Supreme Court.”
According to BJP leader and petitioner in apex court, Ujwal Keskar, the SEC clearly said that it would announce programme after taking into consideration the India Meteorological Department’s advice.
“It means that the elections will be held after rainy season. After getting final order, we will get clarity about ward delimitation.”
The battle for PMC will be crucial for all parties, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), NCP, Congress, Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. The BJP-controlled civic body between 2017 and 2022 with 98 corporators. After coming to power in the state during 2019 by aligning with Sena, the NCP is looking to regain its control over PMC, which has an annual budget of ₹6,700 crore.
BJP city unit president Jagdish Mulik said, “We welcome the decision. Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis promised that he would ensure to get OBC reservation and we got it. Usually polls are not held during rainy season. It’s election commission’s right to announce dates but we expect that it would get announced after rainy season, mostly in October.”