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Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Odisha government on Monday raised the curtains over the much-debated backward caste reservations in the upcoming polls to urban civic bodies when it tabled the Odisha Municipal Rules (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the State Assembly. The introduction of the bill comes at a time when the elections are scheduled to be held next year.

As per reports, the bill carries a total of 50 percent reservation the Scheduled caste (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Other Backward Class (OBC). As per the Apex Court rulings a maximum of 27 percent can be reserved for OBCs.

The bill is likely to pave the way for the Municipal Polls in the State.

The Odisha government had initiated the process to table an amendment in the Legislative Assembly over the proposed reservation of seats in the ensuing Panchayat polls in the State in August this year.

Prior to that, the Orissa High Court had asked the State Chief Secretary and the State Election Commission to furnish a reply within four weeks on the issue of conducting civic body polls in the State.

The court issued the directive while hearing a string of writ petitions seeking immediate conduct of the civic body polls.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Opposition parties, including BJP, have been accusing the Odisha government and the State Election Commission of creating a crisis situation by deferring the civic polls for nearly three years.

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