Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath government today found relief on the issue of local body elections, with the Supreme Court freezing the Allahabad High Court’s order to hold urban body elections in the state by January without reservation to other backward classes or the OBC. The bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha has given the State Backward Class Commission to submit a report on the OBC’s political backwardness in local agency quotas by March 31.
The state, which had challenged the high court order, told the Supreme Court that the OBC committee had been formed and would complete its mandate in March.
In December, the Superior Court blocked the hold on the OBC in a city agency poll, canceling the draft hold notice. The bench also ordered the Election Commission to issue election notices immediately.
The order follows a petition against the state government’s provisional list of reserved seats for mayors of 17 municipal corporations, 200 city council chairmen and mayors of 545 nagar panchayats.
The petitioners argued that the state government must follow the Supreme Court order to form a commission to study the political backwardness of the OBC before the reservation can be determined.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced that the state will have reservations about OBCs in local bodies and conduct investigations based on Supreme Court guidelines. He has said the election will not take place before the retention rule and the state will go to the Supreme Court to challenge the high court order if needed.
OBC’s support is crucial to the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
In 2021, the Supreme Court directed states to conduct a “triple test survey” to collect contemporary data on the OBC before deciding on the percentage of political quotas. “Social and economic backwardness does not necessarily coincide with political backwardness,” the Supreme Court has said.