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Mumbai: A day after the state election commission (SEC) announced elections to 92 municipal councils and four nagar panchayats for mid-August, political parties on Saturday almost unanimously demanded that polls be postponed until Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservation is allowed by the Supreme Court.
preme Court. The first to oppose polls set for August 18 and 19 was Congress Maharashtra President Nana Patole. “In Madhya Pradesh, local body polls are being held with OBC reservation. The quota is less than 14%, but local body polls should be held in Maharashtra with full quota (27%),” he said. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who is in New Delhi, also supported postponement of elections and said that the state government will hold discussions with the State Election Commissioner UPS Madan.

Meanwhile, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state President Jayant Patil said, “To hold elections excluding OBC reservation will be a grave injustice to the OBC community. The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) was trying to ensure that the OBC community gets reservation. An MVA-appointed Banthia Committee has even collected empirical data and prepared a report. The battle to get OBC reservation is in the final lap, and the SEC should not insist on elections to be conducted next month.” Addressing reporters in Baramati on Saturday, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, said, “Now, there is no option but to face elections. We did not want polls (to be held) when Maharashtra is on red and orange alert for heavy rainfall. The SEC has the right to announce elections, and the Code of Conduct has come into effect, where elections have been announced. I don’t think any amount of discussion will help change that now.” BJP’s MP in-charge and OBC face of the party, Pankaja Munde, tweeted, “Elections to municipal councils have been announced at some places. I hope the newly appointed Chief Minister and Deputy CM take notice of this, and ensure that elections are held with the OBC reservations. I am confident that the government will do justice.”

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