The Public Works Minister Ashok Chavan, on Wednesday, said that the union cabinet’s decision to grant powers to the states to declare Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs) will not pave way for the state to provide the 12 per cent reservation in education and 13 per cent in government jobs for the Maratha community in Maharashtra. “The central government should relax the 50 per cent reservation limit if the Maratha quota is to be granted by the state,” he added.
The Supreme Court had struck down the quota provided under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018, and said it had exceeded the 50 per cent reservation limit. Further, it had dismissed the central government’s review petition in the case, saying that states did not have the right to declare SEBCs, which they had earlier enjoyed.
“The central government needs to remove these two roadblocks to restore the quota in the state,” said Chavan. “Relaxing the 50 per cent reservation limit is not only necessary to restore the Maratha reservation. This is a nationwide issue. Today, in most states, reservation has exceeded the 50 per cent ceiling,” he added. Chavan recalled that a delegation, led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to relax the 50 per cent reservation limit.