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Shiv Sena hits out at Centre over OBC quota issue

Prime News, National, Constitution, Democracy, Quota, Mumbai, September 24:- A day after the Union government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that the census of Backward Classes was “administratively difficult and cumbersome,” the Shiv Sena on Friday (September 24) asked that if the Centre has now taken this stand, then why was the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government maligned over the issue of OBC reservation all this while.

In an editorial published in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana,’ the Sena thanked Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for signing the ordinance that seeks to restore the OBC quota ahead of some by-elections and local governing body polls in the state.

On Thursday (September 23), the Centre told the Supreme Court that caste Census of Backward Classes was “administratively difficult and cumbersome” and excluding such information from the purview of census is a “conscious policy decision.” In an affidavit filed in the apex court, the government has said that caste enumeration in Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 was “fraught” with mistakes and inaccuracies.

The affidavit was filed in the top court in response to a plea by the Maharashtra government that sought a direction to the Centre and other concerned authorities to disclose to the state the SECC 2011 raw caste data of Other Backward Classes (OBCs), which is not made available to them on “repeated demand.”

The Sena said, “If the Centre has decided not to share the empirical data of OBCs with the state, then why was the image of the MVA government maligned for the last so many months. Why are the OBCs being used as a pawn to corner the state government?”

The empirical data is necessary for providing quota to the OBCs in local body elections, the Sena said.

In March this year, the Supreme Court had read down the OBC quota case that had cancelled election of some candidates who won the seats reserved for OBCs.

Through ‘Saamana,’ the Sena had on Thursday likened the governors in non-BJP-ruled states to “rogue elephants” who were being controlled by their handlers in Delhi.

On Friday (September 24), however, the party praised Koshyari for signing the revised draft of the ordinance on OBC quota, which would ensure 27 percent reservation for the community.

“The governor had sent back the earlier draft of the ordinance to the government citing some errors in it. The government then forwarded to him the revised draft ordinance on Thursday, which he immediately cleared and he should be thanked for that,” it said.

“But we still wonder what errors he has found in the file, which was cleared by the state cabinet, to nominate 12 persons as members of the Maharashtra Legislative Council. He is not even ready to speak over the issue,” it added. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)

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