State did not provide data on political delay: MSCBC | Bombay News

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Mumbai After the Supreme Court (SC) refused to accept its interim report recommending the reinstatement of the political quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the state, the Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes (MSCBC ) pointed the finger at the state government and said it did not provide empirical data on OBC policy lag.

“The said report was entirely based on information submitted by the state government. The Commission’s report clearly mentions that work on the proposed empirical data-based survey is ongoing. The reports and documents made available to the Commission by the state government largely concerned the population of the OBC and did not indicate any political delay. In accordance with the order of the SC, the Commission was required to submit an interim report based on the documents given to it by the government, and therefore the Commission had refrained from expressing its opinion on the political delay” , said a statement released by the MSCBC after its meeting on Tuesday. The state had submitted eight types of reports and datasets to the Commission.

MSCBC member BL Sagar Killarikar said: “We have analyzed the data submitted to us by the state government. How can we determine political delay if the state has not provided us with any data in this regard? BL Sagar Killarikar, Member of MSCBC.

Although the Marathas dominate the politics of Maharashtra, the OBCs, which are spread across all religions, classes and castes, are considered the largest social bloc with around 53% of the population. Although some estimates put their population at a lower level, there is no scientific measure of the number of castes in Maharashtra, with the last caste-based census taking place in 1931 in British India.

The MSCBC also initiated work on its final report – the proposed statewide socio-economic, political and caste survey. This survey, which will cost 435 crore, will be the first of its kind in a century to reveal hard figures on different castes and classes and their social, economic and political status, and could catalyze a major reboot of affirmative action policies. The statement pointed out that it took more than six months for the state government to approve the funds needed to develop the software to be used in this exercise.

On March 4, 2021, the SC had suspended the 27% political reserve for OBC candidates, citing the lack of empirical data on the exact nature of their delay. The SC last week refused to accept the MSCBC’s interim report, citing “lack of substantiation” and “lack of contemporaneous data”.

On January 19, the SC had ordered the Maharashtra government to submit data on OBCs to the Commission to review their accuracy and make recommendations on their representation in local body elections, raising hopes that this quota would be reinstated. The MSCBC submitted its interim report to the government on February 5, in which it stated that OBCs form over 38% of Maharashtra’s population and also recommended a reserve of 27% in local body elections. This was then submitted to the SC, which rejected it.

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