Mumbai: Faced with calls given by restive political parties and organisations for the restoration of the Maratha and OBC reservations scrapped by the Supreme Court, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, accompanied by Deputy Chief Ajit Pawar and PWD Minister Ashok Chavan, went to New Delhi to seek Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to uncap the 50 per cent ceiling on reservation.
This is Thackeray's second visit to the national capital after becoming the CM in November 2019. He said that the outcome of the 90-minute meeting was quite positive.
He said his government had urged Modi to take steps to amend Articles 15(4) and 16 (4) of the Constitution of India, which would help restore the 12 per cent quota in education and 13 per cent quota in government jobs to the Maratha community. This would also help relax the 50 per cent ceiling on reservations imposed by the apex court in the Indra Sawhney case.
The CM said the state government would file a review petition as per the recommendations of an expert panel challenging the Supreme Court order cancelling Maratha quota.
Chavan said the government had welcomed the Centre’s move to file a review petition challenging the 102nd amendment. However, he said, after the Supreme Court scrapped the Maratha quota, all power was now vested with the Centre to decide on the subject.
As far as the scrapping of the 27 per cent political reservation for OBCs in local body elections, Pawar said it would affect 56,000 seats in local bodies. He informed that the government had appealed to Modi to resolve this issue through a Constitutional amendment.
Beset with a Rs 10,000 crore cost escalation of the Mumbai Metro 3 project in five years, Thackeray raised the issue of the claim laid by the Centre to the Kanjurmarg land that had been proposed for the construction of a carshed. The matter is currently pending in court. Thackeray urged Modi to spare the Kanjur land for the carshed project through an out-of-court settlement.
Former CM Devendra Fadnavis clarified that the Kanjur land issue was not a matter of prestige but it needed to be resolved through discussion with the Centre.
Pawar said the government had urged the PM to clear GST compensation dues worth Rs 24,306 crore at the earliest. The state government had also appealed to Modi for early development of the Bulk Drug Park by expeditiously clearing the competitive tendering, the implementation of the Cup and Cap model for crop insurance scheme across the state and a revision in the NDRF and SDRF norms for Central aid to people affected by natural calamities.
The state delegation demanded a bulk drug park for Maharashtra and a Central allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for it. It said the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has selected a 250-acre land for the purpose.
Also, early clearance of dues for urban and local bodies from the 14th Finance Commission was sought.
Earlier in the day, the PMO had tweeted, “Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Shri @AjitPawarSpeaks and Cabinet Minister Shri @AshokChavanINC called on PM @narendramodi. @OfficeofUT @CMOMaharashtra.”