Even though the opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), assured its cooperation to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government during the hearing pertaining to the lifting of the interim stay on the Maratha reservation, Union Minister of Law Ravi Shankar Prasad skipped the meeting convened by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray here on Sunday. Prasad, who had earlier given consent for his presence, has reportedly conveyed that attending the meeting could send a wrong signal, when the central government is the respondent in the Maratha reservation cases in the apex court.
The cabinet sub committee on the Maratha quota chairman Ashok Chavan confirmed that Prasad could not make it, saying that the reason is not known.
Thackeray, however, said that Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis has assured BJP’s cooperation both at the state and central level. “The fight for Maratha reservation has now reached its final stage. Just as all the members of the legislature came together for the reservation law, we will continue to fight collectively to get justice to the Maratha community. For this, whatever is required to be done by the state government, it will be done,” he noted.
Today’s meeting reviewed the state government’s legal preparations for the hearing on the Maratha quota to be resumed from March 8. Chavan said that the state government’s legal team, at today’s meeting, said that the Attorney General, during the hearing, can support the state government’s plea for the restoration of 12% quota in education and 13% in the government jobs. He reiterated that the central government’s role is quite crucial
The state government has already brought it to the central government’s notice that several petitions have been filed in the apex court from various states to have a combined hearing on their quota along with the Maratha reservation. The state government is of the view that the Maratha quota should be argued along with the petitions on the Economically Weaker Section quota and reservations given by various states.
Chavan had recently said that the state government wants the hearing to be held before a nine- or 11-member bench in the apex court, as there was a reference to the Indra Sawhney case in which the SC had set the upper limit of 50% for reservation as well as the other dynamics faced by the backward classes.