After SC Direction, CM Chouhan Says Will File Review Petition

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the state government will file a review petition for holding panchayat elections with the OBC reservation, after the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to notify the programme for local body elections in MP within two weeks. The SC also said until the triple test exercise, which was mentioned in a Constitution bench verdict of 2010, is completed in all respects, no reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) can be provisioned.

Later, talking to reporters here, CM Chouhan said, The Supreme Court has just given its verdict. We have yet not studied it in detail. But, we will file a review petition for holding the panchayat elections with reservation to OBCs. We will again request the SC that local body elections should be held with the provision of OBC reservation. However, MP Congress chief Kamal Nath blamed the state BJP government for depriving OBCs of the reservation.

Our 15-month-long government had raised the OBC reservation to 27 per cent from 14 per cent for their welfare. But, the BJP government delayed this proposal for months by giving wrong legal opinion, claimed Nath, who resigned as the state’s CM in March 2020. He said the panchayat and urban body polls should not be carried out without the OBC reservation and that the state Congress unit will take a legal opinion after studying the SC’s order. The apex court in its order said the election process cannot be delayed as it would result in creating a hiatus situation upon expiry of the five-year term, and it is the constitutional obligation of the authorities to hold elections on time.

“As aforesaid, the SEC need not wait any further, but shall notify the election programme without any further delay in respect of local self government whose elections had become due and in the present case, as aforesaid, overdue in respect of 23,263 local bodies across the state of Madhya Pradesh as of now,” the Supreme Court said, adding the SEC must do so within two weeks. The apex court posted the matter, which pertained to local body elections in Madhya Pradesh, for hearing in July.

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