Backward commission won’t do Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis’ bidding

Mumbai: Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who has been under immense pressure from Marathas, Dhangar and other communities on the reservation issue, wants the Backward Commission to do the impossible — suggest a quota but without eating into the existing quota for OBCs.

It is understood that Fadnavis wants to change the perception in public of him being cornered and is said to have asked the members of the State Backward Class Commission to give a numerical face to the quota. The members met at Aurangabad on Tuesday and informed Fadnavis that what he was insisting on was beyond their scope and they could only endorse the backwardness of the Marathas.

Accordingly, the Backward Class commission has stated in its report that Marathas are laggards socially, economically and in the education sector. Its report is expected to be submitted on Thursday. According to sources, the commission rejected Fadnavis’ plea and informed him that it cannot give specific suggestions; it can only make generalised recommendations. Three members concurred with the chief minister; however, the majority opinion prevailed.”

The commission has recommended an increase in reservation quota — 50 percent upwards, which will enable Marathas to avail of the benefits. This quota will not affect the 27 percent quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs). It is a report running into 1020 pages, of which around 20 pages are summaries. A member secretary will submit the report to the chief secretary. An important question that the survey covered is the issue of farmer suicides. “90 percent of the farmers who had committed suicide belong to Maratha community. This proves their economical backwardness. On the other hand, only 2.2 percent Marathas are employed in government or have completed higher education,” said the source. After the pressure that was exerted on them, the commission said, “Now, the ball is in the court of the government.”

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