Yogi govt forms Backward Classes Commission

Step taken amid debate over OBC quota in municipal elections

5-member panel formed under chairmanship of retired judge Ram Avtar Singh

Panel report to decide quota for OBCs in UP’s municipal polls

Lucknow: In a major move, the Yogi Adityanath government, on Wednesday, constituted an OBC commission in the state amid debate over reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in local body elections. The commission, which will be chaired by retired judge Ram Avtar Singh, include a total of five members.

The government has issued a notification in this regard. On the basis of the commission’s report, the backward class reservation will be decided for UP’s municipal body elections.

On Tuesday, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court gave instructions to the government to conduct elections in UP without implementing OBC quota, while it was clearly stated on behalf of the government that the municipal body elections in Uttar Pradesh cannot be held without backward class reservation.

Additionally, it was discussed that the government might go to the Supreme Court. The Backward Classes Commission has been formed by the state government in light of the OBC reservation in municipal elections.

According to the notification issued by the government, a five-member committee has been formed under the chairmanship of retired judge Ram Avtar Singh in the Other Backward Classes Commission in Uttar Pradesh.

In this, retired IAS Chob Singh Verma, retired IAS Mahendra Kumar, former legal advisor Santosh Kumar Vishwakarma and former additional legal advisor and additional district judge Brijesh Kumar Soni have been included in the commission.

The commission will present its report after conducting a triple test for reservation for the OBC class in the body elections. On the basis of that report only, the government will fix OBC quota in municipal body elections.

Municipal polls were held on basis of rapid surveys in previous governments too

The Bharatiya Janata Party was targeted by the Congress, SP, and BSP after the High Court ordered that elections be held without reservations for backward classes. However, during their governments, municipal body elections were also held on the basis of a rapid survey of the backward classes.

On the other hand, the political battle over OBC reservation in the state can come to an end with the formation of the Backward Classes Commission by the state government.

It may be noted that the arrangement for reservation of backward classes in local bodies was made in the Uttar Pradesh Municipality Act-1916 in 1994. In order to give reservation for the backward classes, a provision has also been made in the Act to conduct a survey.

According to this, a rapid survey of backward classes is conducted by the state government in every municipal body. Since 1991, all the elections to the municipal bodies (years-1995, 2000, 2006, 2012 and 2017) have been conducted on the basis of these provisions given in the Act and the report of the Rapid Survey. Not only this, but a rapid survey of backward classes was conducted by the Panchayati Raj Department in May 2015. So far, on the basis of the same survey, elections to the three-tier panchayats have been conducted in 2015 and 2021.

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