NASHIK/NEW DELHI: Since the administrative rule at Nashik Municipal Corporation, the hopes of the aspirants were dashed. But yesterday’s Supreme Court orders have revived hopes of the aspirants in the city. Mixed reactions have evoked from political circles.
Dhananjay Dhumal a BJP cadre said, on the strength of BJP’s work and the trust of the voters, maximum number of BJP corporators will be elected to civic body. While Digambar Mogre said that the MVA government was trying to make the change that was expected due to OBC reservation.
In the latest setback for the Maharashtra government, Supreme Court on Wednesday has directed the Uddhav Thackeray-led government to declare the schedule for local body elections within two weeks.
The country’s apex court has also said that it will decide on the issue pertaining to reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the elections after the polling process takes place.
SC asked the Maharashtra government to release the schedule for the elections of local bodies including Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), just a week after it declined to accept the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission’s recommendation to restore 27% reservation for OBC. The court had also ordered the State Election Commission to avoid acting on the recommendation and to notify the poll process without any delay while keeping all the proposed OBC-reserved seats in the general category.
These local body polls elect members of key municipal corporations such as Nashik, Mumbai, Pune and Thane. The state election commission had submitted an affidavit to Supreme Court saying that the time required to prepare for the polls will stretch till June. But then, by that time, monsoon would have started and elections are not conducted during that season due to potential logistical challenges.
Uncertainty started looming over elections for all Municipal Corporations in Maharashtra after governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari signed two bills passed by the state legislature that proposed powers to the state on the delimitation of wards. The bills were passed to amend the ‘Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act and the Maharashtra Municipal councils, Nagar Panchayats and Industrial Townships Act 1965’ and ‘Maharashtra Village Panchayats Act and the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act 1961’.
Both these bills allowed the state government to take over the powers forward formation in local body elections. Even though the bills allowed the state poll panel to decide the poll schedule for local and civic body elections in consultations with the state government, Supreme Court has declined to accept the changes. Earlier in January, the Supreme court had directed the Maharashtra government to submit a report on the status of OBCs in the state as the amendments proposed scrapping the delimitation process and fixing of wards of the civic and local bodies by SEC.
But, in March, SC rejected the report provided by the state government saying that it was not based on empirical data. But, according to the state government, holding elections without OBC reservations could hurt them, especially at a time when several committees are asserting their political rights and are seeking reservations.