Congress, which shares power with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, on Thursday, leveled serious charges against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for allegedly supporting anti-Maratha reservation petitions in the court of law. State Congress chief spokesman Sachin Sawant claimed that the BJP-RSS connection to the organisation Save Merit, Save Nation that opposed the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) quota has come out in the open now.
“Isn't this a betrayal of the Maratha community, when BJP helps organisations that oppose the quota. This can't be a mere coincidence. Did BJP prevent the party office bearers from being associated with this organisation? We seek a clarification from it," Sawant said. The Supreme Court, on May 5, in its ruling, had struck down the 12% quota in education and 13% in government jobs for the Maratha community.
Sawant lashed out at BJP for its plan to hold a protest on June 5 against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government's handling of the Maratha quota. Cabinet sub-committee chief Ashok Chavan also slammed the party for politicising the issue and misleading the people of the state.
“It is the BJP's policy to pretend that they support the Maratha reservation on one side and to run a campaign to prevent reservation in reality on the other. This is because Save Merit, Save Nation, which is fighting against Maratha reservation in the Supreme Court, has a direct connection with RSS. The majority of the trustees are affiliated to RSS and are from Nagpur,” said Sawant. To substantiate his claim, Sawant also released a few papers and claimed that the said organisation did not exist at the time of the court battle in the Mumbai High Court.
“However, after the High Court ruled in favour of reservation, the organisation started functioning. According to the organisation’s website, it has sent four petitions against the Maratha reservation. A BJP office bearer is bound by the rules and regulations of the party. Why didn't the BJP stop him,” asked Sawant.