After aggressive posture by OBC leaders, the Maharashtra Public Work Minister Ashok Chavan, who heads the cabinet sub-committee on Maratha reservation, on Monday clarified that the state government is committed to provide reservation to the Maratha community without touching the OBC quota.
“The state government’s stand is clear that the Maratha community should get the reservation without jeopardizing the OBC quota,” said Chavan. He lashed out at BJP in particular for creating a misunderstanding about the quota in the Maratha community. He added it was not right especially when the state government was making efforts to restore the reservation to the Maratha community which is locked in the court battle.
“If the opposition is creating misconceptions for no reason, then it is wrong,’’ he opined. “The role of the government is clear from the beginning. It is the same today. There are no differences in the ruling partners of Maha Vikas Aghadi,” said Chavan.
Chavan last week had said that all party members of the parliament should meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek the central government’s cooperation in arguing the state government’s case and take similar cases together for hearing.
Chavan’s clarification is important as OBC leaders cutting across party lines at the morcha held in Jalna, Marathwada on Sunday had warned that they will not tolerate any attempt to touch their 27% quota to provide reservation to the Maratha community. Leaders including Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar said the OBC community is not opposed to reservation to the Maratha community but it does not want the government to provide them from the reservation enjoyed by the OBC community.
Chavan’s statement is crucial as the Supreme Court will hear the application moved by the state government to vacate an interim stay granted by it in September last year on 12% quota in education and 13% in government jobs to the Maratha community under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018.