Gujarat govt announces 27% OBC reservation in local bodies, SC/ST quota remains intact

Gandhinagar: The state government today announced 27 percent reservation for OBC (Other Backward Class) in local bodies, including panchayats and civic bodies. No changes have been made to the existing reservation for ST (Scheduled Tribes) and SC (Scheduled Castes). The total reservation of SC, ST, and OBC will be within the limit of 50 percent as provisioned by the Supreme Court. State Spokesperson Minister Rushikesh Patel shared these details. Patel said the government wishes to hold the pending elections soon.

Patel said over 60 talukas and 9 districts have a tribal population of more than 50 percent. 10 percent of seats for OBCs will continue to be reserved in such scheduled areas in Panchayats where the PESA act is effective. Where the tribal population is in the range of 25 to 50 percent, the OBC reservation shall fill the gap limit to 50 percent total reservation after 27 percent of that for SC and ST. In Municipal Corporations and Municipalities – urban areas  27 percent reservation for SC/ST shall continue. 27 percent reservation shall be for OBCs in the limit of a total of 50 percent reservation overall.

Last year, the Chief Minister established an independent commission led by retired Justice KS Zaveri to determine the percentage of reserved seats for the Other Backward Class (OBC) within local self-governing bodies. This panel was made after a directive by the Supreme Court. The report of the committee was handed over to the State government in the month of April 2023. The State government had accepted the recommendations of the commission.

According to the Supreme Court’s instruction, states were required to allocate reserved seats for OBCs in each local body based on the recommendations of such a commission after it had completed a comprehensive study. In April this year, the Zaveri Commission submitted its report after gathering and analyzing data to establish a quota for the OBCs in local body elections.

The elections for 7100 panchayats, 75 municipalities, 2 district panchayats, and 18 taluka panchayats are pending over this issue, and the government has appointed administrators in these bodies. At present, 10% of seats in local bodies are reserved for OBC candidates, while Schedule Caste (SC) reservation is 7% and 14% of seats are reserved for Schedule Tribes (ST).

Gujarat BJP welcomes decision

During a press conference held at the Gujarat BJP headquarters, ‘Shri Kamalam’, here in Gandhinagar, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and State BJP Chief CR Patil welcomed the decision to implement a 27% reservation for OBCs.DeshGujarat