Edited By: Abhro Banerjee
Last Updated: December 27, 2022, 20:56 IST
Quashing the Uttar Pradesh government’s draft notification, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Tuesday ordered holding the urban local body elections without reservation for the OBCs (Other Backward Classes). However, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said that the state government will provide reservation in urban body general elections to OBCs on the basis of triple test by setting up a commission.
The division bench of Justice DK Upadhyay and Justice Saurav Lavania, which passed the verdict, annulled the draft notification issued by the Uttar Pradesh government on December 5 for reservation of OBCs in the urban local body elections.
The verdict comes over PILs challenging the preparation of the OBC reservation draft without following the triple test formula prescribed by the Supreme Court. The petitioners had pleaded that the state government must follow the apex court formula and constitute a dedicated commission to study the political backwardness of OBCs before fixing the reservation.
The state government pleaded that it had conducted a rapid survey and said it was as good as the triple test formula.
Adityanath said if needed the state government will also appeal in the Supreme Court against High Court verdict.
“The Uttar Pradesh government will set up a commission and reservation will be given to the citizens of Other Backward Classes (OBC) on the basis of triple test in urban body general elections. Only after this, the urban body general elections will be held,” he tweeted.
“If necessary, the State Government will also appeal in the Hon’ble Supreme Court after considering all the legal aspects regarding the decision of the Hon’ble High Court,” he said in another tweet.
उत्तर प्रदेश सरकार नगरीय निकाय सामान्य निर्वाचन के परिप्रेक्ष्य में एक आयोग गठित कर ट्रिपल टेस्ट के आधार पर अन्य पिछड़ा वर्ग (OBC) के नागरिकों को आरक्षण की सुविधा उपलब्ध कराएगी।इसके उपरान्त ही नगरीय निकाय सामान्य निर्वाचन को सम्पन्न कराया जाएगा।
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) December 27, 2022
The hearing on the issue was completed on Saturday by the Lucknow bench. The bench, which broke for its winter vacation on Saturday, said it would hear the case during the recess as the matter pertained to local bodies’ elections and democracy.
The rejection of Yogi Adityanath-led UP government’s OBC reservation formula, paving way for urban local body polls immediately without the quota, is expected to leave the state government in a fix. While on one hand the UP government is threatened with anti-OBC sentiments, on the other the party faces an electoral challenge if immediate polls are held.
The Allahabad High Court verdict can also be a big reason for government mulling to go the Supreme Court.
What Did UP Government’s December 5 Draft Notification Say
The state government in its December 5 draft notification had issued a provisional list of reserved seats for mayors of 17 municipal corporations, chairpersons of 200 municipal councils and 545 nagar panchayats for the three-tier urban local body elections and sought suggestions/objections within seven days.
According to the draft, four mayoral seats — Aligarh, Mathura-Vrindavan, Meerut and Prayagraj — were reserved for OBC candidates. Of these, the mayor’s posts in Aligarh and Mathura-Vrindavan were reserved for women in OBC category, a PTI report said.
Further, 54 chairpersons’ seats in the 200 municipal councils were reserved for OBCs, including 18 for women in OBC category. For the chairpersons’ seats in 545 nagar panchayats, 147 were reserved for OBC candidates, which included 49 for women.
Reacting to the Allahabad High Court order, Samajwadi Party (SP) Spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan said it is a “conspiracy by the BJP government to deprive the backward classes of reservation.”
(With PTI inputs)
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