Ever since the Supreme Court delivered its verdict to struck down State legislation offering reservation to politically strong Maratha community, the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi and Opposition BJP have spared no opportunity to blame each other for the failure.
While on one hand, the ruling three-party government led by Shiv Sena is seeking the centre’s intervention to provide reservation for Maratha community, on the other hand, it is blaming the BJP for a weak legislation that failed to withstand legal scrutiny by the SC.
On Tuesday, a few hours prior to the state government delegation led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray comprising Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and other senior ministers had a meeting with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, BJP cautioned the Maha Vikas Aghadi for the urgency being shown to put the onus on Union government.
Warning the state against playing with the sentiments of the Maratha community, Chandrakant Patil, the state chief of BJP and his deputy Madhav Bhandari, said the MVA government should not make any haste to take the subject to the Central government before fulfilling legal obligations. The government needs to work on the legal loopholes pointed out at the apex court. First, it was important to appoint the state backward class commission to study the demands made by the community on the basis of community’s backwardness on social and educational fronts.
The commission needed to recommend reservation for the community before approaching the union government to consider the demand as per the provisions under the 102nd Constitutional Amendment, said Bhandari cautioning any haste may lead to legal wrangle.
Before him, State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil too had cautioned the state after the judgement was delivered. The state government had failed to put up a strong defence before the SC, Patil had said refuting allegations by MVA leaders that the BJP-led government had approved a weak legislation.
Meanwhile, another important issue that the state government is currently facing is the promotions of the government officers. The state had, a few years back, allowed promotions keeping 33 per cent seats vacant. These 33 per cent seats were meant for the reserved category candidates according to a government decision made in 2004. But since it was challenged and a litigation was pending in the SC, those seats were kept vacant. Now, after the SC judgement on Maratha reservation state has allowed all the promotions to be done on seniority basis only.
A group of ministers is exerting pressure to stay the recent decision to open the doors of promotions on seniority basis. If the state rescinds the decision it will lead to another big trouble.