Posts of DDC, BDC chairpersons also to be reserved

The Union Cabinet today cleared proposal for reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir. A bill for the purpose is likely to be introduced in ongoing session of the Parliament.

Among total seats reserved for the OBCs in Panchayats and Municipalities, one-third of them will be reserved for OBC Women, official sources told the Excelsior.

There will be reservation for the OBCs in the posts of District Development Council (DDC) and Block Development Council (BDC) Chairpersons also besides the Sarpanch and Panch constituencies; Corporators, Councillors and Members of the ULBs.

However, percentage of reservation to be given to the OBCs will be decided by a Commission after the Parliament approves the reservation bill.

Sources said the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today cleared the bill granting reservation to OBCs in Panchayats and Municipalities in Jammu and Kashmir.

A proposal to this effect was earlier approved by the J&K Administrative Council headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.

Following Cabinet approval, a bill for political reservation to the OBCs is likely to be tabled in ongoing session of the Parliament which will be last session of the current Lok Sabha.

After Parliament nod, a Commission will fix percentage of reservation for OBCs in Panchayats and Municipalities, based on which the seats will be reserved for them.

Earlier, the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Women enjoy reservation in Municipalities and Panchayats. Women have 33 percent reservation.

“There will be reservation for OBCs in Sarpanch and Panch constituencies and DDCs. Posts of DDC and BDC Chairpersons will also be reserved. In ULBs, Wards will be reserved in Corporations, Councils and Committees,” the sources said.

This will be for the first time that the OBCs will be getting political reservations in Jammu and Kashmir. Even they were not having reservations in the Government jobs and educational institutions.

Only four percent reservations were given to Other Social Castes (OSCs) in J&K. In the last Parliament session in December, the Parliament had approved bill brought by Union Home Minister Amit Shah for reservation to OBCs in jobs and educational institutions.

Elections to Panchayats and Municipalities which were due in October-November last year were deferred due to grant of reservations to OBCs besides certain discrepancies in voters of different Wards in the Corporations.

“Once the Parliament approves bill and assent is given by the President of India, the percentage of reservation for OBCs will be fixed. Thereafter, the Rural and Urban Development Departments will undertake exercise for reservation of constituencies for the OBCs,” the sources said, adding that fresh delimitation of Wards and voter revision will also have to be carried out before conduct of elections.

As process for Lok Sabha elections will conclude by the May-end, elections to Panchayats and Municipalities can be held only after that.

While all Urban Local Bodies had completed their five-year term in November and December, term of the Panchayats ended on January 9 this year. In absence of the Panchayats, the Block Development Councils (BDCs), which were second tier of the Panchayati Raj System, also ceased to exist.

However, the District Development Councils (DDCs) have their term till January 2026. The DDCs are third tier of the PRIs. This was for the first time that all three tiers of Panchayats were established in Jammu and Kashmir. – (Daily excelsior)