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MLAs not in agreement over holding BBMP polls

It’s learnt that former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too has conveyed to the government not to go ahead with local body polls
Last Updated : 13 May 2022, 22:11 IST
Last Updated : 13 May 2022, 22:11 IST
Last Updated : 13 May 2022, 22:11 IST
Last Updated : 13 May 2022, 22:11 IST

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Lack of consensus among legislators has emerged as a major bottleneck for holding the polls to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which does not have an elected council since September 2020.

A delegation of other backward classes (OBC) leaders on Thursday met BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel to insist on holding polls by setting aside 27% of the total seats for OBC candidates. It’s learnt that the senior Congress leaders have also conveyed the same to the government.

In states like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the Supreme Court has, however, directed the State Election Commission to hold local body polls without the OBC quota unless the triple test exercise is completed. The test involves the appointment of the commission, gathering empirical data to quantify the extent of backwardness and ensuring the quota does not exceed 50% of the total seats.

In Karnataka, the BJP-ruled government has already formed a committee under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar. The government has also earmarked Rs 180 crore towards preparing a comprehensive caste Census report. The exercise is expected to take a minimum of six
months.

The BBMP polls, which were delayed due to a delay in completing the delimitation of 243 wards, now depend on the outcome of a separate hearing by the Supreme Court bench which has been tentatively listed on May 20. The case is pending before the apex court since December 2020.

It’s learnt that former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too has conveyed to the government not to go ahead with local body polls without the OBC quota. Senior BJP leaders also share a similar opinion.

Interestingly, a delegation led by Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy is planning to meet Chief Election Commissioner B Basavaraju to put forth the demand of holding BBMP polls at the earliest.

Abdul Wajeed, a former councillor and one of the petitioners of a case listed in the Supreme Court, was hopeful that the BBMP elections will be held shortly. “First the government gave the excuse of redrawing the ward boundaries and now the OBC quota is being used as a reason to delay the polls. We are hopeful that our case will be listed soon,” he said.

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Published 13 May 2022, 18:05 IST

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