The Maharashtra government has accepted the State Backward Class Commission’s report and decided to give quota in jobs and educational institutes to the Maratha community, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Sunday.
The reservation will be granted to the community under a new category called ‘Socially and Educationally Backward Class’ (SEBC) as per the recommendation of the commission, he said.
The politically dominant Maratha community constitutes over 30 per cent of the state’s population.
Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting on the eve of the winter session of Maharashtra legislature here, Fadnavis said, “The state cabinet has accepted the backward class commission’s report for Maratha reservation.
“Quantum of reservation will be fixed by the cabinet sub-committee assigned to chalk out technical aspects of the bill (granting quota) which will be tabled in the coming session,” he said.
After the commission submitted its report to the government earlier this week, Fadnavis had hinted that the demand for quota would be fulfilled.
The Maratha community has been demanding quota for a long time and its agitation for the same in July and August this year had taken a violent turn.
According to government sources, the commission’s report has said that Marathas are a “socially and educationally backward class of citizens” with minuscule representation in government and semi-government services.
A socially and educationally backward class can be extended benefits of reservation under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution, and in view of such extra-ordinary and exceptional condition, the state government is liable to take action, the report has said, sources maintained.
Asked whether the proposed reservation for Marathas will cross the 50 per cent ceiling set by the Supreme Court, Fadnavis said the commission has described the condition of Maratha community as “extra-ordinary and exceptional”.
“Even though the case of Tamil Nadu, where reservation has crossed 50 per cent mark, is pending in the apex court, it has not been struck down. We are confident of extending reservation to Marathas,” he said.
As per the opinion of the Advocate General, the state does not need permission of the central government for granting quota, he further said.
The Backward Class Commission had been asked to prepare a report on social and economic backwardness of the Maratha community.
Asked about the demand for reservation by the Dhangar community, Fadnavis said the Dhangars are presently in the VJNT (Nomadic Tribes) category and have 3.5 per cent reservation but they want quota under the Scheduled Tribes category.
“This comes under the Centre’s purview. We will make the recommendation to the Centre,” he said.
Sushil Modi ‘camp follower’, should say something on Srijan scam: Kushwaha
Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief Upendra Kushwaha made a sharp attack on Sunday apparently against BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi by calling him a “pichhlaggu” (camp follower) of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Without naming Modi, Kushwaha in a series of tweets said some people are “publicity hungry, opportunist and pro-power by nature”. He describe Modi as a “loudspeaker” and “blood-sucking mosquito” which spreads diseases around it.
Kushwaha’s remarks could deepen the differences within the National Democratic Alliance, which is struggling to find a seat-sharing arrangement for the 2019 general election. The RLSP chief has said the number of seats offered to his party was “not respectable” and the matter should be resolved by November 30.
On Saturday, shortly after Kushwaha set the deadline, Modi in a tweet responded to him, saying the NDA will “not be browbeaten” and seats will be allotted based on “ground realities”.
The JD(U) and the BJP last month announced they will contest equal number of seats, but did not say what their share would be.
Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, the fourth partner in the alliance, has said it expects to contest a “respectable number” of seats in the state.
During the 2014 election, the RLSP, which Kushwaha formed in 2013 after breaking out from the JD(U), contested and won three seats. The LJP contested seven seats then. Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha seats.
“There are people who are ‘rajnitik pichhlaggu’ (camp follower in politics). Such people are publicity hungry, opportunist and pro-power by nature. The utility of such people are merely confined to work as loudspeaker for alliance partner or its leader. Such people thrive in the party by sucking blood and spreading malaria and dengue in their own party,” Kushwaha tweeted in Hindi.
By “loudspeaker”, the RLSP chief apparently referred to Modi’s denial that Chief Minister Kumar called him “neech” (lowly person).
During a programme on November 4 when Kumar was asked about the seat-sharing issue with Kushwaha, he had said, “Itna neeche baat ko nahi le jaiye” (do not take the debate to such a low level). The RLSP chief construed that the chief minister called him a lowly person.
Also on Sunday, Kushwaha asked Deputy Chief Minister Modi to say “something” on the Srijan scam as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought to provide a corruption-free government.
In another tweet, he said, “You have rightly said that our PM Sri @narendramodi ji made every effort to provide corruption-free government. Please say something on Srijan scam too.”
Srijan scam, detected last year, is being probed by the CBI. The government funds worth about Rs 1,000 crore were allegedly transferred to the accounts of Srijan Mahila Vikash Samilti, Bhagalpur.
Kushwaha recently met RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Sharad Yadav.
Sharad Yadav snapped ties with Kumar after the JD(U) chief joined hands with the BJP last year.
Kushwaha’s RLSP won merely two out of 20 assembly seats it contested in the 2015polls. (PTI)