Maharashtra: Govt Seeks A Month’s Time To Facilitate Reservation For Marathas Through OBC Quota

Maharashtra: Govt Seeks A Month’s Time To Facilitate Reservation For Marathas Through OBC Quota

The Chief Minister also said that the government has constituted a task force and senior advocate Harish Salve is a part of it. “Our government is working on it extensively. What happened in Jalna is unfortunate,” he added.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, September 04, 2023, 09:03 PM IST
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Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis | Twitter/@CMOMaharashtra

Mumbai: Even as the Maratha agitators are not ready to budge, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday announced formation of a committee for registration of Marathas as ‘Kunbi’ to facilitate reservation to them from the OBC quota and sought a month’s time to come up with an amicable solution on the issue that can withstand legal scrutiny. 

After a long meeting of the Cabinet Subcommittee on Maratha reservation, Shinde along with DCM Devendra Fadnavis and DCM Ajit Pawar addressed a press conference wherein Fadnavis apologized for the lathi charge at the site of protests in Jalna district, while Pawar challenged the opposition to prove that the orders for lathi charge were given from Mumbai else leave politics. CM Shinde also appealed Manoj Jarange to end his fast while assuring impartial probe in the incident of lathi charge.

“State government regrets the lathi charge on Maratha quota protesters in Jalna district,” Fadnavis said as he opened the press conference.

He also informed that the decision to lathi charge was taken at the local level and the political leadership had no role in it.

Opposition has no moral right to demand my resignation, says Shinde

Shinde, however, slammed the opposition parties for demanding his resignation over the issue of lathi charge.

“The Opposition doesn’t have a moral right to demand resignation. They didn’t act when they were in power. The government is doing all possible things to provide Maratha reservation. I appeal that no one should politicize this issue,” Shinde said.

“The incidents that are happening recently - several political people want to do politics on the pretext of the Maratha community and protest. I urge them to keep the state peaceful, that is our duty,” Shinde said.

Advocate Harish Salve part of task force

The Chief Minister also said that the government has constituted a task force and senior advocate Harish Salve is a part of it. “Our government is working on it extensively. What happened in Jalna is unfortunate,” he added.

“We don’t want to fool the Maratha community. We are trying to come up with a full-proof plan,” he added.

“The Supreme Court has said that the Maratha community is not backward. Hence, to prove that will need some time. Government is doing all efforts to put up a strong argument before the court,” Shinde added, appealing to the community to exercise restraint. He also tried to convince the resolve of the government by reading out various decisions made by the government in favour of the community and various schemes brought in for them.

“We don’t want to politicize the issue. We are inquiring into the unfortunate incident of lathicharge. Work is in progress over registering Marathas as Kunbis. But, that will take some time to complete,” Shinde said.

Govt working towards Maratha quota: Shinde

“My government is serious on the issue and we are working honestly for the Maratha quota,”Shinde said. He also criticized former CMs Uddhav Thackeray and Ashok Chavan for not doing enough for the community. “The decision taken by the Fadnavis government was struck down during the MVA rule,” he pointed out and added that the government is trying to do away with the shortcomings pointed out by the SC.

He also said that the SP has been transferred out of the Jalna district and the sub divisional commissioner too has been suspended in the case.

Fadnavis, who apologized for the lathicharge in jalna district, said that the government has made the decision on Maratha quota in 2018 which even cleared the scrutiny of the High Court.

“This was only the second decision of such kind to clear the HC scrutiny. Only the decision made by Tamil Nadu government has done it earlier,” Fadnavis said while trying to convey the government’s resolve to grant reservation to Maratha community.

Fadnavis slams Thackeray

He also criticized Shiv Sena (UBT) Chief Uddhav Thackeray for his remarks on ordinance saying, “Why didn’t he bring in the ordinance while he was the Chief Minister for over a year after the SC struck down the state government’s decision on quota for the community?”

Ajit Pawar said that the discussion in the committee was positive. He also said that politics is being played over the lathi charge and challenged the opposition to prove their charges that the orders for the lathicharge were given from Mumbai. “I’ll leave politics if the opponents proved their charges and challenge them to do so if they fail to prove them,” he added.

It may be noted that Sharad Pawar was the first to level charges that the police might have received orders from the Home Department.

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