MP government increases reservation quota of OBCs to 27 per cent

The Madhya Pradesh government on March 9, 2019 issued an ordinance increasing reservation quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) to 27 per cent from the current 14 per cent. The announcement was made by the state’s Law and Legal Affairs Minister PC Sharma.

The ordinance was issued and notified after it received the assent from the state’s Governor Anandiben Patel on the same day. The move was made to ensure that the ordinance could be issued before the Election Commission’s model code of conduct for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls came into effect.

Key Highlights

With the issuance of the ordinance, Madhya Pradesh has become the only state in the country to have 27 per cent quota for OBCs.

According to political analysts, the move has been undertaken by the state’s new ruling party, Congress, to woo people belonging to the OBC community in the view of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The OBCs in the state have been generally favourable to the BJP since Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was the state’s longest-serving CM having been on the post between 2005 and 2018, is from the community.

Even in the 2018 assembly polls, though BJP could manage to win only 109 seats, as against Congress’s 114 seats in the 230-member House, it is reported that the saffron party won more than 50 per cent of the OBC votes.

In the Lok Sabha, the BJP currently holds 26 of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state, while Congress has the remaining three.

Background

The Lok Sabha election 2019 schedule was announced by the Election Commission at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on March 10, 2019.

On behalf of Election Commission, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora read out the dates of the national elections and also the assembly elections in four states. With the announcement of the date, EC’s Model Code of Conduct also came into force.

In the state assembly elections that took place at the end of 2018, BJP lost its grip on three of its major Hindi heartland states including MP, Rajasthan, and Chhatisgarh.

With the opposition Congress government coming to power in these states, the party is attempting to replicate its great show at state level and win maximum Lok Sabha seats in these states.

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