Many corporators left the BMC draw for the OBC quota without ward

by Web Desk | Published: 30 Jul 2022

BMC Elections 2022
The State Election Commission (SEC) ordered the BMC to hold a lottery for OBC reservations in each of its wards in Mumbai after the Supreme Court (SC) accepted the Banthia Commission report on OBC reservations. As a result, the civic body did so on Friday.
 
The Bal Gandharva Auditorium in Bandra served as the venue for the event. A few well-known names will now need to choose another ward to run in the next municipal elections. For instance, the BJP's group leader in the House, Prabhakar Shinde, previously represented Mulund ward number 106, but as a result of the delimitation process, he now represents ward number 109, which is now only open to female candidates (open category).
 
Similar to this, ward 217, previously held by Yashwant Jadhav, the former head of the civic standing committee, is now a ward designated for OBC female candidates. Two orders have been sent to the BMC by the SEC. The first mandated that wards that had not been designated for the OBC community in the elections of 2007, 2012, or 2017 be done so this time.
 
According to the second order, the OBC group had to be given priority in wards that were designated for them in 2007 but weren't in 2012 or 2017. 63 wards were thus set aside for OBCs. The BMC set aside 53 wards for OBC under the first order, and under the second, it conducted a lottery to determine who would receive the remaining 10 OBC wards.
 
For the 63 OBC seats, a lottery was also held for the 32 OBC women candidates' wards. In the general category, there were 155 available seats once OBC reservations were finished. For this category, a lottery draw guaranteed 77 seats for female candidates and 79 places for the remaining contestants.
 
Important pre-election steps include ward delimitation and ward reservation procedures. Each candidate for office and each incumbent corporator's destiny in the upcoming election is determined by these two procedures. Every corporator typically works for the public after winning an election in order to be eligible to run for office again in the future, but occasionally the lottery procedure disrupts their plans.
 
There are some candidates, nevertheless, whose current wards are still unaffected by the reservation. Rakhi Jadhav, the group leader for the Nationalist Congress Party, lost her present constituency in Ghatkopar east, ward number 130, because it is now only open to candidates who identify as OBC women. Jadhav defeated Bhalchandra Shirsat of the BJP to win this seat in 2017.
 
 
The Congress group leader Ravi Raja, whose ward number 182 is likewise designated for a female candidate from the open category, experienced the same outcome. He expressed dissatisfaction with the lottery's results. "After the Supreme Court ruling, the very next day a brochure was being circulated, detailing where there will be OBC reservation in Mumbai," Raja stated in a statement to the FPJ. Consequently, I am dubious about the reservation. The lottery system is just a waste of time, he said.
 
He also asserted that the BMC chief must have made a mistake. "If you look at ward numbers 176 to 193, all 18 wards are sequentially designated for candidates who are OBC, SC, ST, or women. In such a situation, where should an 'open' candidate go? he questioned.
 
In the May 30 lottery, BJP corporator Vinod Mishra's ward was designated for a female candidate from the open category; he is now also a candidate from the open category. Mishra is therefore relieved as a result of the OBC reservation. I had almost given up hope, he admitted to the FPJ. My well-wishers kept urging me to apply to join the BMC as a co-opted member, but I declined and instead intended to run in the state assembly elections. Fortunately, though, my ward is now open.