Maharashtra govt hits out at BJP over Centre’s OBC affidavit in Supreme Court

The Maharashtra BJP on Thursday was put on the backfoot after the Centre, in an affidavit in the Supreme Court, said it could not share the Socio Economic Caste Census 2011 as the data was ‘flawed’ and ‘not usable’. MVA ministers said that the Centre’s affidavit proves that the BJP does not want the OBC community to get any benefit.

“All these days we were being criticised, but now it is clear that the Centre has washed its hands off the issue,” deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said reacting to the Centre’s affidavit. The Maha Vikas Aghadi has been facing pressure from the BJP ever since the Supreme Court quashed a state government decision to give OBCs political quota for local body polls.

The Supreme Court held that the state could not cross the 50% quota limit to OBCs. It also needed to form a Backward Class Commission that would, with the help of empirical data, justify that OBCs needed the quota. Minister for Other Backward Class Vijay Wadettiwar said the true colours of the BJP were revealed which was ‘anti-OBC’ . Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chaggan Bhujbal, also an OBC leader, said: “If the Centre is not able to give empirical data, then how can the state give the data.”

The BJP however has claimed that the MVA ministers have got the affidavit wrong. “The Centre has not spoken about the empirical data but about the census data. This has been already made clear in Thursday’s meeting with the chief minister,” opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis said.

Meanwhile, governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Thursday gave his assent to an ordinance by the state government to give OBCs representation in local body polls within the 50% limit.

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