Mumbai: After a series of meetings throughout the day on Monday, Shiv Sena and the Opposition Congress took a strident position and demanded immediate implementation of the quota for Marathas. The NCP, less vociferous, expressed the need to reassure the community.
Sena said that the government should not wait for the State Backward Class Commission report and instead go ahead with the implementation of its decision. On the other hand, Congress legislators offered to resign on the quota issue but desisted from doing so as the party would like to keep the quota fires burning. In a day of political posturing, a delegation of the Congress and the NCP separately met Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.
The Congress delegation also met chairman of SBCC retired justice MG Gaikwad and requested him to submit the report to the Bombay High Court at the earliest. However, according to Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, leader of Opposition in the Assembly, the chairman informed them that the commission will need at least three more months to submit its report. Chandrakant Patil, Revenue Minister and chairman of the sub-committee of ministers on Maratha reservation, had met the SBCC chairman on Saturday and made a similar request. Patil claimed the commission will submit its report by August-end this year.
At the Congress legislature party meeting, MLAs said that looking at the palpable anger in the community, they are ready to resign for the cause. In a memorandum handed over to the Governor, the party said the government would be to blame if law and order deteriorates. After a meeting of Shiv Sena legislators and ministers, party president Uddhav Thackeray told media that the government should not wait for the backward commission report and convene a special state legislature session to grant quota, not just to Marathas but all other communities like the Dhangars and Muslims, who have been demanding it.
Party legislators and ministers them called on CM Fadnavis to hand over a memorandum in this regard. During the meeting, party legislators expressed displeasure over former CM Narayan Rane and Sharad Pawar’s statements and urged the party leadership to move quickly on the issue. While Rane held a meeting with CM Fadnavis on Sunday and said the community would get the quota within three months, Pawar had on Saturday said that he would support the BJP government if it decides on a constitutional amendment to facilitate the quota. The state NCP toed the same line while stating that the community needs to be reassured that their demands are being met in a systematic way.