BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday claimed the Shiv Sena-led MVA government in Maharashtra has no intention to give reservation to Marathas after the 2018 quota law for the community was struck down by the Supreme Court.
The Leader of Opposition in the Assembly targeted PWD minister Ashok Chavan, who heads a state cabinet sub-committee on Maratha quota, for his recent comments on the reservation issue.
Speaking to reporters here, Fadnavis said, "I have learned from reports that the Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal to give rights of declaring a community as backward to states. However, I am making it very clear that state minister Ashok Chavan and the MVA government have no intention to give reservation to the Maratha community." Reacting to the Union Cabinet decision, Chavan on Wednesday said giving the power to states and UTs to make their own OBC lists will not pave the way for restoring the Maratha quota.
The Congress minister had said the Centre should relax the 50 per cent limit on quotas, which was one of the reasons cited by the Supreme Court while striking down the 2018 Maharashtra law providing reservation to Marathas in education and government jobs.
However, Fadnavis claimed the Uddhav Thackeray government is not serious about the issue.
"This government is coming up with new excuses because they do not want to give reservation to the Maratha community," said the BJP leader, who was the chief minister when the quota law was enacted.
He said, "A state government has to firs declare a community as backward. The reservation part comes much later. Nobody has stopped the state from declaring (Marathas as socially backward)." "The state has not taken a single step in that direction. Why is the state not taking any action?" Fadnavis asked.
The BJP leader said Chavan, as head of the cabinet sub-committee on Maratha quota, is not fulfilling his responsibility.
"It will be a mistake on part of Ashok Chavan if he thinks experts or people protesting for Maratha reservation are fools or lack in wisdom. Everyone knows how he is trying to shrug off his responsibility," Fadnavis said, targeting the Congress minister.
"Ashok Chavan should not run away from his responsibility... (if he is not serious on the issue) he should declare clearly they do not wish to give reservation benefits to the Maratha community," he said.
Fadnavis said the Congress should seek support from non-BJP parties like the Trinamool Congress, the SP and the RJD for Maratha quota and write to the Centre.
"Chavan should obtain letters from Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav or his son among others. The Congress has tied up with 22 parities, so it should ask them to wrote letters to the Union government regarding the reservation and its impact on the Constitution," Fadnavis said.
Not just the Congress, even the regional parties are well aware that the Union government can not go against the basic framework of the Constitution and make changes, he said.
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