Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has initiated the process to table an amendment in the Assembly over the proposed reservation of seats in the upcoming Panchayat polls in the state, Panchayati Raj Minister Pratap Jena said Thursday.
The amendment is expected to be tabled during the next session of the Assembly.
“We have been making demands to the Centre to conduct caste-based census. However, no step has been taken yet. Although the Centre did not consider our demand, we will pitch 27 per cent OBC candidates in the panchayat elections. No delimitation of panchayats will be made this year,” the Panchayati Raj minister said.
The proposed move of BJD-led government was taken in a lighter vein by the state unit of BJP. “Panchayat elections will be conducted as per schedule. The Supreme Court has already asked to hold panchayat elections with 50 per cent cap on reservation of candidates. There is nothing new in BJD’s proposal,” BJP vice president Bhrugu Baxipatra said.
The government should first conduct Urban Local Bodies (ULB) poll and then consider holding panchayat elections. Fearing defeat in the ULB elections, the BJD-led government has been trying to conduct pachayat polls first, Baxipatra added.