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Odisha politics heats up over OBC reservation

17/11/2021 at 10:38 PM

Bhubaneswar,Nov 17:Odisha politics is now heated up for the approaching  rural body election. At the same time, the reservation list released for the coming panchayat and Zilla Parishad elections has triggered a new spark among the opposition parties.

The opposition parities alleged, the number of reserved Zilla Parishad seats for OBCs has drastically dropped in comparison to 2017. Particularly, in as many as 14 districts across the state, there is no reservation for the backward classes.

BJP has made it a major issue criticizing the ruling BJD. “BJD is not keeping its words whatever it swore earlier”, said BJP senior leader Surath Biswal.

The BJP accused, the state government of neglecting the backward classes. The protection of the backward classes is just a talk show of the ruling BJD. In fact, no importance is given to the backward classes.

Senior leader of the Congress Ananta Sethi said, of the 853 district council seats, 104 are reserved for the backward classes. The Zilla Parishad reservation list does not have seat reservation for OBCs in 14 districts. In Boudh and Sonepur districts, only one seat is reserved for the backward classes.

They argued that the 2017 panchayat elections had 236 seats reserved for OBCs. This time, the number of seats has dropped to 104. As a result, the OBC lost as many as 132 seats. While the government had assured 27 per cent reservation for the OBC, it is estimated that only around 12 per cent seats are reserved for backward candidates this time.

Responding to the allegations raised by the opposition parties, BJD leader Prasanta Muduli said, “Everything is done according to the rules. As per announcement, the party will reserve 27 per cent seats for the OBC candidates.”

More than half of the state’s voters, that is 52 percent, are belonging to the backward class.Oppositions parties are concerned about backward class voter and keen only to manipulate the backward classes. Even in the panchayat elections, the party’s decision to segregate 27 per cent seats to the backward classes will remain in force, Muduli added.

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