Gujarat Government Raises OBC Reservation From 10% To 27%
The BJP government in Gujarat has announced a 27% reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in local bodies such as panchayats, municipalities, and civic corporations.
This decision is based on a commission’s report and will allow for elections to be held in these self-governing institutes. Previously, OBC reservation in local bodies was only 10% in Gujarat.
The announcement comes before the Lok Sabha elections and follows a Supreme Court mandate that reservation for OBCs should be based on their population.
However, in areas that fall under the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) (PESA) Act, which have a significant tribal population, the reservation for OBCs in local bodies will remain at 10%.
The existing quota for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes will also remain unchanged, and the 50% reservation ceiling has not been breached, according to the Gujarat government.
The decision to increase OBC reservation is based on the recommendations of the Justice Jhaveri Commission report. A cabinet sub-committee accepted the recommendation and the state cabinet approved it.
As a result, seats in panchayats, municipalities, and municipal corporations will be reserved for OBC candidates in a 27% proportion during elections. However, in PESA notified areas, the reservation will continue to be 10% to protect the interests of tribals.
The reservation for Scheduled Castes (14%) and Scheduled Tribes (7%) in local bodies remains the same. The 50% reservation cap mandated by the Supreme Court prevents the OBC reservation from exceeding 27%.
The BJP government had set up the Jhaveri Commission in July 2022 to collect and analyze data about backwardness in local bodies.
This was necessary to determine the OBC quota in elections for self-governance institutes. The Supreme Court had directed that the reservation for OBC candidates in each local body should be decided based on the commission’s recommendations.
The opposition Congress had been demanding the release of the commission’s report and the announcement of reservation for OBCs in local self-government bodies.
They had organized a sit-in protest earlier this month. The government had postponed elections in many local bodies due to the OBCs’ demand for resolution of the quota issue before the polls.
This decision by the Gujarat government increases OBC reservation in local bodies, aligning it with the population-based mandate of the Supreme Court.