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NCP in Maharashtra has to fight for 27% seats for OBC in local body polls

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The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has decided to give 27 per cent seats to candidates from the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the upcoming local body polls in Maharashtra, its state president Jayant Patil said on Monday.

Elections to 92 Nagar Parishads and four Nagar Panchayats (bodies that govern smaller towns in semi-urban areas) in Maharashtra will be held on August 18, the State Election Commission (SEC) had announced on Friday. No provision for OBC reservation has been made in elections to these civic bodies as a related case is pending before the Supreme Court.

“Since it is important that the OBC community gets justice, the NCP has decided to give 27 per cent of the total seats in the local body polls to the candidates of the community,” Patil tweeted. The Supreme Court had refused to restore OBC reservation in local bodies in the state for want of empirical data.

Patil said the apex court’s decision regarding OBC quota is being awaited and his party will make all efforts to ensure that backward communities get political reservation in local self-governing bodies. The BJP had earlier opposed the holding of local body elections until the OBC quota, set aside by the Supreme Court in March last year, was restored.

The party is now in power in the state along with the Shiv Sena faction led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. The August 18 elections will be held for local urban bodies in Pune, Sangli, Solapur, Kolhapur, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Jalna, Beed, Osmanabad, Latur, Amravati and Buldhana districts. Counting of votes will take place on August 19.

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