Maratha Quota Stir: Government bound to award quota, but after due legal procedure, says Maharashtra CM

Mumbai: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis urged Maratha youths not to commit suicide, assuring them the state government was bound to award reservation to the community. However, he added, his government would need to complete constitutional and legal procedures before doing so, to ensure that its stand would be accepted by the Bombay High Court.

Addressing the audience at a book release event in Sahyadri Guest House on Monday, Fadnavis elaborated on the process of awarding reservation to the Maratha community. He said, “The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the government which formed the State Backward Class Commission (SBCC) and awarded reservation to the Maratha community. It was unfortunate that our stand was not accepted by the Bombay High Court, which had stayed our decision. We had challenged it in Supreme Court, but the SC upheld the order of Bombay HC.”

“If we will apply for reservation again in a hurry, it will be not accepted by HC. For that we have to go through legal procedure,” he said. He added that the government has urged the SBCC to submit its report as early as possible. The report will be discussed at a special session. Fadnavis said, “Agitation leaders know about the procedure and they agree that the state must follow rules. But they are under pressure and hence, not speaking in our favour. But, I believe they will support us.”

He clarified, reservation for Marathas would be given without disturbing the existing reservation quota. A judgment of the Supreme Court in 1992 does not allow reservation quota beyond 50 per cent. The apex court had directed the setting up of a Backward Class commission, which we have formed and are waiting for its report. The government is committed to awarding reservation and we will do it,” assured the CM.

Meanwhile, Muslims and Dhangar communities too are demanding reservation. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has been supporting Muslims and their demands. NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday has demanded the state should award five per cent reservation to the community. He said, “The erstwhile Congress-NCP government has given reservation quota to Muslim and an ordinance was issued. It has no stay order from the HC and hence the BJP government should implement it.”

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