Maharashtra moves SC to put on hold local polls for 6 months

The government has approached the Supreme Court seeking to delay local body polls by at least six months due to the covid-19 situation. The state approached the apex court after the State Election Commission refused to do so.

In its petition, the state claimed it grappling with the pandemic and also the Centre had warned it of a more virulent ‘Delta plus variant’. The petition added that the entire state had gone under level 3 where restrictions are placed on public gatherings.

The state government had earlier written to the SEC asking for the postponement of the local body polls. However, the SEC said that without the SC directions the elections cannot be postponed.

The local body polls scheduled for the next month have fuelled anger among the OBC communities as the SC through an earlier order quashed the Maharashtra government’s decision of 1994 to give the OBC communities 27% reservation in local body polls.

Soon after the SC decision, the SEC announced a schedule for zilla parishad and panchayat samiti polls. The OBC communities opposed the elections and said that they would not let the elections be held, putting the state government in a difficult spot with several ministers publicly threatening that they would not allow the polls to be held. BJP leaders too echoed a similar view.

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