Big Relief For Yogi Adityanath Government On Reservation In Local Polls

New Delhi:

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh got relief on the issue of local bodies elections today, with the Supreme Court putting on freeze the Allahabad High court’s order to hold urban bodies elections in the state by January without reservation to Other Backward Classes or OBCs. A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha asked the state Backward Classes Commission to file a report on political backwardness of OBCs for giving quota in local bodies by March 31.

The state, which had challenged the High Court’s order, told the Supreme Court that a separate OBC Commission has already been formed and will complete its task by March.

In December, the High Court had blocked reservation for OBCs in the urban bodies’ polls, scrapping the draft notification for reservation. The bench had also ordered the Election Commission to immediately issue notification for the election.

The order came following a petition that had objected to the state government’s move to issue a provisional list of reserved seats for mayors of 17 municipal corporations, chairpersons of 200 municipal councils and 545 nagar panchayats.

The petitioners had contended that the state government must follow the Supreme Court’s formula and form a commission to study the political backwardness of OBCs before fixing reservation.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had declared that the state will give reservations to OBCs in the local bodies and hold a survey under the Supreme Court guidelines. The election will not be held before the provision of reservation and if need be, the state will go to the Supreme Court to challenge the High Court’s order, he had said.

The support of OBCs is crucial to the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

In 2021, the Supreme Court had directed that states hold a “triple test survey” to gather contemporary data on OBCs before deciding on the percentage of political quota. “Social and economic backwardness does not necessarily coincide with political backwardness,” the top court had said.