Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh governor Anandiben Patel on Saturday approved the ordinance to increase reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The quota for OBCs in government jobs and university admission, which was earlier 14%, is now 27%.

Patel’s decision came amidst the possibility of the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha election, which is set to be announced soon. 

The Madhya Pradesh governor's announcement also came after Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath announced on February 6 an increase in the OBC quota. Taking a cue from Tamil Nadu, he had announced that the economically weaker sections in the general category will be eligible for 10% reservation in government jobs and college admissions.

“I talked to several legal experts and they assured there would be no legal problem. Tamil Nadu has more than 50% reservation, and no one has challenged it in court,” Nath added. 

Nath had also attacked the former BJP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan during his announcement. He said that the BJP government, which was in power for 15 years, did not do anything for the OBCs of the state. However, Congress lost a major chunk of its voters to the BJP during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Congress’s vote share was reduced to almost 35%, while the BJP secured 54% of the votes.

Also, the BJP is believed to have pocketed more than 50% of OBC votes in the 2018 Assembly polls, though it managed only 109 seats against the Congress's 114 in the 230-member House.

Currently, the BJP holds 26 of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the Congress having the rest.