The government of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday appointed a five-member commission to make reservations for other backward classes (OBC) in urban local body elections. The panel will be headed by Justice (Retd) Ram Avtar Singh.

The four other members are retired Indian administrators Chaub Singh Verma and Mahendra Kumar, and legal advisors to the state Santosh Kumar Viskarma and Brajesh Kumar Soni. The members were appointed after approval of Governor Anandiben Patel.

A notice on the composition of the body issued by the Urban Development Department said the commission’s term would be six months. The panel’s constitution comes a day after the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad Supreme Court overturned the state government’s draft notification of urban local body elections and ordered the polls to be held without reservation for the OBCs.

The Supreme Court’s order came on the basis of objections to the creation of the OBC draft reservation, without following the triple-test formula mandated by the Supreme Court.

After the order, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that the polls to the urban local bodies would not be held without reservation for OBCs. The UP government will now set up the commission on the urban local body polls and ensure reservation to the OBCs on the basis of the triple test, he said on Tuesday. 

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya also asserted that polls would only be held after OBC reservation. 

According to the ‘triple test’ formula, a commission must be set up to hold a ‘rigorous empirical inquiry’ into the nature of ‘backwardness’ in the context of the local bodies, specifying the proportion of reservation based on the commission’s recommendations, and not exceeding the overall 50% quota limit.

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