Days after Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad skipped a meeting on the Maratha quota and Attorney General KK Venugopal refused to meet the Maharashtra legal team, Public Works Minister Ashok Chavan slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government for not extending its cooperation in the ongoing legal battle.
Chavan, who heads the cabinet sub committee on the Maratha quota, said that BJP should not mislead the society by denying the responsibility of the central government. He retorted to the state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil’s statement that the central government has nothing to do in the Maratha quota matter.
“If the central government has nothing to do with this case, then why did the Supreme Court issue a notice to the Attorney General, the highest legal officer of the central government?” he asked. Further, Chavan reminded that the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis attended the meeting convened by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on February 28 and assured that he will try to get full cooperation from the central government.
“Had it not been for the central government, would Fadnavis have given this assurance?” asked Chavan.
While referring the case of Maratha reservation to the bench, the Supreme Court has clarified the need to consider the 102nd amendment. Opponents of the Maratha reservation claim that the amendment was made by the Narendra Modi government in 2018. Due to this amendment, the states do not have the right to create a special category of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs). “So, isn't it the responsibility of the central government to make it clear that the amendment made has not adversely affected the rights of the states?” he asked.