HC stays Kamal Nath govt’s decision to raise OBC quota

Deepika S

Bhopal, Mar 19: In a setback to Kamal Nath-led Congress government, the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Tuesday stayed the recent decision of the state government of raising the Other Backward Class (OBCs) quota to 27 per cent from the existing 13 per cent.

A two-judge bench of Justices RS Jha and Sanjay Dwivedi ordered that the counselling for MBBS seats, which gets underway from March 25, would be undertaken as per the 14 per cent reservation granted to OBCs.

Chief minister Kamal Nath had announced increase in reservation to OBCs recently along with provision of 10 per cent reservation to poor among the upper caste.

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The decision, taken a month before the Lok Sabha elections, was viewed as a ploy to woo the backward castes and dent the BJP's combined OBC-upper caste vote bank in the state.

In accordance with the legal ceiling of 50 per cent reservation, Madhya Pradesh till now offers 16 per cent reservation to SCs, 20 per cent to STs and 14 per cent to OBCs.

While raising the reservation limit, the Congress government said that as OBCs comprise around 52% of the total population of the state, increasing their quota was necessary to safeguards interests of the community.

The decision to hike OBC quota was approved by Kamal Nath Cabinet on March 6.

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