Sharad Pawar and Sanjay Raut
Sharad Pawar and Sanjay Raut
PTI File Photo

Mumbai, May 20: Strong differences among the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi partners were resurfaced on Wednesday. The Congress party, which is sharing power with Shiv Sena and NCP in Maharashtra, on Wednesday reiterated its strong objection against the government notification issued on May 7 to scrap 33% reservation in promotions for those employed through quotas in the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribes (VJNT)and Special Backward Classes (SBC) categories.

Senior Congress minister and chairman All India Congress Committee for Scheduled Caste Department today at the cabinet sub-committee meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, strongly opposed the notification cancelling 33% quota in promotions.

The government had issued notification on May 7 to scrap 33% quota in promotions two days after the Supreme Court had cancelled 12% quota in education and 13% in government jobs for the Maratha community. The General Administration Department, which issued notification, had cited the Bombay High Court decision to scrap the promotion quota.

The May 7 notification had raised hopes in the open category that the latest government decision would clear the way for their promotions. It would have opened up opportunities for the Maratha and other communities to get promotions in the open category.

Raut said, "In order to revoke the Government Resolution dated May 7, 2021, the opinion of the Law and Judiciary Department will be taken again. Besides, the additional chief secretary of the General Administration Department will collect preliminary information regarding the proper representation of the backward classes.’’ Raut last week had met the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expressing his objections to the scrapping of 33% quota in promotions and warned that the Congress party would launch a statewide agitation demanding immediate withdrawal of the notification.

Another Congress minister Varsha Gaikwad in her tweet said, ‘’ At the subcommittee meeting chaired by DCM Ajit Pawar it was decided not to implement the May 7 decision. Instead, it was decided to seek the opinion of the law and judiciary department.’’

Congress has been insisting especially after the party president Sonia Gandhi’s letter to Chief Minister Udhav Thackeray last year reminding him of the understanding reached among three parties in the Common Minimum Programme over the implementation of projects and fund allocation for OBCs, SCs, STs, and other backward classes in the state.

The government had introduced 33% reservation in promotions for SC/ST/VJNT/SBC on April 25, 2004, by then Sushilkumar Shinde government through a Government Resolution. It gave 13 per cent reservation to SCs, seven per cent to STs, 3 per cent to Vimukt Jati, two per cent to special backward class, and rest for VJNT.

Those who joined state government service on April 25, 2004, or before were entitled to promotion as per their seniority and those joining after April 25, 2004, were to get promotion as per the date of joining. However, the Bombay High Court struck down the GR in 2017.

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