Mumbai, Sep 16 (PTI) Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil on Thursday said the state government's proposed ordinance on OBC quota in by-elections to local governing bodies should be able to pass legal test if challenged in court otherwise it will remain just an eyewash.
On Wednesday, the state cabinet decided to bring an ordinance to grant OBC quota in the October 5 by-elections to a set of local governing bodies without crossing the Supreme Court-mandated 50 per cent cap on reservation.
Speaking to reporters in Pune, Patil said the government should make the ordinance legally sound so that it does not get struck down by court.
“It will be an eyewash for the OBC community if the ordinance fails the legal test. It is my honest wish that the ordinance is upheld by court. The onus is on the state government to come out with a strong and clear ordinance that passes legal test," the former state minister said.
State minister Chhagan Bhujbal had earlier said the proposed ordinance will be based on similar orders issued by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments.
Those orders were upheld by respective courts hence the MVA government has no doubt about its decision on the OBC quota ordinance, Bhujbal had stated.
Patil said, “If the ordinance was the wayout, the state government could have come with it four months back. It has simply wasted such a long time.” The Supreme Court in March this year had read down the OBC quota in some local governing bodies in the state citing non-availability of empirical data to substantiate the reservation percentage. The apex court had observed that total reservation should not exceed 50 per cent.
On Monday, the State Election Commission (SEC) announced that by-elections to six zilla parishads (ZPs) and panchayat samitis under them for seats which have fallen vacant after the Supreme Court's OBC quota ruling will be held on October 5.
Asked about reports that Maratha Seva Sangh chief Purushottam Khedekar has expressed willingness to join hands with the BJP ahead of various polls, Patil said he has not received any such proposal.
He said, “I have not received any formal proposal. Once a proposal is made, the state BJP's core team will discuss it and take a decision.”