Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday cancelled his investment promotion meetings scheduled in London and New York next week, saying his presence is required in the state in the wake of some recent developments pertaining to representation in local body elections.
Mr Chouhan’s move came a day after the Supreme Court directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to notify the programme for local body elections in Madhya Pradesh within two weeks.
The SC also said until the triple test exercise, which was mentioned in a constitution bench verdict of 2010, is completed in all respects, no reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) can be provisioned.
After the SC’s order, Mr Chouhan had on Tuesday said the state government will file a review petition for holding panchayat elections with the OBC reservation.
He had said they will again request the SC that local body elections be held with the provision of OBC reservation.
On Wednesday, Mr Chouhan in a series of tweets said the Madhya Pradesh government had planned investment promotion meetings in New York (US) and London (UK) between May 15 and 20. The idea was to bring investment, resulting in employment opportunities and economic development of the state.
“However, recent developments with regards to representation in elections of local bodies require my presence in the state. In view of this immediate and pressing need, I have decided to postpone the visit,” Mr Chouhan tweeted.
After the SC’s order on Tuesday, MP Congress chief Kamal Nath had blamed the state BJP government for depriving OBCs of the reservation.
The Supreme Court in its order said the election process cannot be delayed as it would result in creating a hiatus situation upon the expiry of the five-year term, and it is the constitutional obligation of the authorities to hold elections on time.
“As aforesaid, the SEC need not wait any further, but shall notify the election programme without any further delay in respect of local government whose elections had become due and in the present case, as aforesaid, overdue in respect of 23,263 local bodies across the state of Madhya Pradesh as of now,” the top court said, adding the SEC must do so within two weeks.
The SC posted the matter, which pertained to local body elections in Madhya Pradesh, for hearing in July.
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