BJP's Shelar attacks Maha govt over OBC quota in local bodies

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Mumbai, Jun 1 (PTI) The Congress and BJP indulged in a war of a words on Tuesday on the issue of OBC quota in local bodies in Maharashtra as well as benefits for the Maratha community.

The Supreme Court, in March this year, had ordered that reservation in local bodies in Maharashtra could not exceed 50 per cent of the total seats after taking into account quota for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.

On Tuesday, Maharashtra minister and Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar said polls to local bodies should not be held till the OBC reservation issue is settled.

Hitting back, BJP leader Ashish Shelar said the previous government under Devendra Fadnavis had earmarked OBC quota in local bodies, while the Uddhav Thackeray government had 'killed' it by 'not contesting the decision properly in the Supreme Court'.

Shelar also took a dig at Wadettiwar and NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal, both prominent OBC faces of their parties, by saying he wondered 'how Wadettiwar and Bhujbal can still enjoy the perks of ministership after losing OBC reservation'.

Attacking the Thackeray government, Shelar said its decision to offer various concessions to the Maratha community on the lines of the ones given to those part of Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) should not mean the former are not socially backward.

He said the previous BJP government's decision to identify Marathas as part of the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) gave the community several benefits.

Shelar also reiterated his party's demand that the MVA government provide a Rs 3000 crore package to the Maratha community.

On the state government extending benefits of the EWS quota to the Maratha community, Shelar said this 10 per cent quota was an initiative of the BJP-led Union government.

'The MVA government's actions are based on Central schemes. It is said the state government is completely relying on the Centre to offer relief to the Maratha community,' Shelar claimed. PTI ND BNM BNM

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