NEW DELHI -- In a major setback to the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party ahead of the high-voltage Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday passed a stay order on the government's notification to include 17 Other Backward Castes (OBC) in the Scheduled Castes (SC) list.
The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet had cleared the proposal in this regard on 22 December last year. The proposal, considered to be aimed at wooing the OBCs in the elections, was sent to the Centre for clearance.
The 17 sub-castes, which the government wanted to include in the SC category, were Kahar, Kashyap, Kewat, Nishad, Bind, Bhar, Prajapati, Rajbhar, Batham, Gaur, Tura, Majhi, Mallah, Kumhar, Dheemar and Machua.
A PIL against the move was filed by an organization following the ideology of Dr B.R. Ambedkar. Alleging that the move was aimed at gaining electoral benefits in the politically crucial state, the PIL stated this move is a clear violation of Article 341 of the Indian Constitution.
The matter will be next heard on 9 February.
The last date of filing nominations is 24 January while candidature can be withdrawn till 27 January. The polling will be held on 11 February.
Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in seven phases between 11 February and 8 March.
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