Bhubaneswar: Amid uproar by opposition BJP and Congress, State Assembly on Wednesday passed the Odisha Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
The Bill was passed to make necessary amendment to the Sections in the Odisha Grama Panchayat Act, 1964, the Odisha Panchayat Samiti Act, 1959 and Odisha Zilla Parishad Act, 1991 to reserve cap the reservation of seats in the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) for SC, ST and Backward Class of Citizens (BCC) within 50 per cent.
As per the provisions made in the above three Acts (un-amended), in some of the PRIs, the reservation of seats for SC, ST and Backward Classes exceeds 50 per cent. However, the Orissa High Court, in accordance with the judgment passed by the Supreme Court, had directed the state government to cap the reservation within 50 per cent.
In view of the above decisions of the courts, the State Government is left with no other option but to amend the relevant provisions of the Odisha Grama Panchayat Act, 1964, the Odisha Panchayat Samiti Act, 1959 and Odisha Zilla Parishad Act, 199.
The amendments of the three Acts have been made to fix the upper ceiling of reservation of seats for SC, ST and BCC to 50 per cent and the upper limit of reservation of seats for BCC not to exceed 27 per cent. However, the reservation ceiling will not be applicable for the areas coming under Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act, the source said.
The State will first give priority to ST and SC population in the reservation of seats for PRI election and the remaining seats, if left, will be reserved for the backward class citizens with a maximum ceiling of 27 per cent, the source said.
Yesterday, the House had passed the Odisha Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 to keep the overall reservation in the urban local bodies (ULBs) upto 50 per cent.The state Assembly has also passed the Odisha Government Land Settlement (Amendment) Bill, The Indian Stamp (Odisha Amendment) Bill and the Odisha Housing Board (Amendment) Bill without participation of the BJP and Congress members.