Ashok Chavan
Ashok Chavan
PTI Photo

Maharashtra Public Works Department (PWD) Minister and Congress leader Ashok Chavan is in Delhi to discuss the Maratha reservation. Chavan, who is the chairman of the cabinet sub-committee on the reservation, met Shiv Sena Member of the Parliament (MP) Sanjay Raut, Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Earlier, he had discussed the matter with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai. Chavan argued that the central government’s intervention is needed to relax the 50% quota ceiling. It will pave the way to restore the 12% quota in education and 13% in government jobs for the Maratha community.

Recently, the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly had passed a resolution and urged the central government to bring a Constitutional Amendment to remove the 50 per cent ceiling on caste-based reservations. Chavan said the restoration of Maratha quota under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) won’t be possible by merely delegating due powers to the state government. “The central government needs to initiate necessary legal action during the ongoing monsoon session to relax the 50% ceiling on the quota fixed by the apex court in the past. Only then will it be possible to restore the quota for the Maratha community,” he noted.

The Supreme Court on May 5 struck down the Maharashtra government’s 2018 law, granting reservation to the Maratha community in admissions and government jobs while hearing a batch of petitions that challenged the reservation provided under the SEBC. The court had said it would breach the 50% quota limit that it imposed in a landmark verdict in 1992. Members of the community have been staging protests across the state, demanding that the reservation be restored.

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