Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party chief
Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party chief
PTI Photo

The NCP Chief Sharad Pawar on Friday suggested that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government could
promulgate an ordinance to restore the 12 per cent quota in education and 13 per cent in government jobs for the Maratha community. Pawar’s suggestion comes two days after the Supreme Court ordered an interim stay on the reservation.
He then proceeded to launch a blistering attack on those blaming the MVA government for the development, without naming the BJP. ‘‘People who say that the government is responsible for the apex court stay are indulging in politics. We have no interest in politics. We want to give justice to the Maratha community and are trying to figure out how this reservation can be restored and how the students will get justice,’’ he noted.

Pawar’s statement is important especially when on the one hand, the BJP is stepping up attacks on the state government, while on the other hand, various pro-Maratha reservation organisations have threatened to launch a statewide agitation.

Asked whether the interim stay on the Maratha reservation would lead to resentment, Pawar said, "Primarily, I think the ordinance can be a solution. We have to take into account the opinion of legal experts. The government will take a decision after seeking legal view,’’ he noted.

According to Pawar, while some states in the country have more than 50 per cent reservation, there is nothing wrong with other states expecting to benefit from the reservation on the same lines. The NCP chief said the agitation would not solve the problem. ‘‘It will be resolved only after seeking relief from the court. The MVA government has formed a cabinet subcommittee on how the reservation passes the Supreme Court test. The government has roped in leading lawyers, including Kapil Sibal to plead the case,’’ he added.

Pawar said it was a bit surprising that the Supreme Court gave an interim stay, especially when the petition challenging the 10 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections was pending judgment. This has already crossed the 50 per cent quota limit.

Some legal experts pointed out that the ordinance could be challenged in the court of law.

As far as the demolition of the office of Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut was concerned, Pawar said the state government had nothing to do with it, as the action was taken by the BMC.

On the formation of a special investigation team to probe the Bhima-Koregaon violence, Pawar said he had held preliminary talks on Thursday with the MVA ministers who would look into the matter and decide after thoroughly studying it.

On the ongoing Indo-China tension at the borders, Pawar said he would suggest the Centre convene an all-party meeting and apprise them of the situation on the ground.

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