Free Press Journal

Maharashtra: NDA constituent seeks statutory amendment for Maratha quota


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Mumbai: The Shiv Sangram Party, a constituent of the NDA in Maharashtra, today demanded a Constitutional amendment to increase the existing 52% reservation in the state to accommodate the Marathas under the OBC category. Shiv Sangram leader and MLC Vinayak Mete said the state government should organise a special session of the state legislature and pass a resolution to this effect, which could be submitted to the Central government.

The politically-influential Maratha community, constituting around 30 per cent of Maharashtra’s population, has been agitating to press their demand for reservation in jobs and education under the OBC category. “All you need to do is create a sub-category under the OBC and allot reservation to the Maratha community. This can be done once the state government organises a special session of the state legislature and passes a resolution.

“Once the resolution is submitted to the Union government, it would be brought in both the houses of Parliament and accepted,” Mete told reporters. This constitutional amendment will increase the existing 52% quota in Maharashtra, he said.At present, the quota for various castes and communities in the state is capped at 52 per cent Scheduled Castes (13%), Scheduled Tribes (7%), OBCs (19%); Nomadic, Denotified Tribes and Special Backward Category together at 13%.

The state government is contemplating to grant 16 per cent quota for the Maratha community. Mete said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has agreed to various demands raised by the Shiv Sangram Party regarding reservation for the Maratha community.

“The Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC) is expected to submit its report with the state government by October this year. I think there will be some decision regarding granting reservation to the Maratha community by November,” the Maratha leader said.

The MSBCC is currently conducting a survey to assess the socio-economic backwardness of the Maratha community, which is divided into sub-sections like Kunbi, 96 kuli etc. One of our demands to rename the Annasaheb Patil Arthik Magas Vikas Mandal (Development Corporation for Economically Backward) as the Annasaheb Patil Maratha Economic Development Corporation has been accepted by Fadnavis, he said. The corporation disburses loans through public sector banks.

“Fadnavis has agreed to disburse loans through the scheduled banks, cooperative banks and urban cooperative banks. This move will expand the outreach of the corporation in the larger section of the (Maratha) community,” Mete said.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar too had recently said that reservations for the Maratha community could be brought about with an amendment in the Constitution.