A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a new Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category under which Marathas will be given reservation, organisations of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) said on Monday that this was an attempt to give a share of their reservation to that community. They said the BJP-led State government had betrayed the OBCs.
“As per Section 340 of the Constitution, the term Socially and Educationally Backward Class is being used for the OBCs. How can Marathas be termed so and get the same reservation? This is nothing but an attempt to encroach on our legal share of reservation, and OBC organisations across the State will unite against this,” Shravan Deore, president, Maharashtra OBC Organisation, said.
He said the State Backward Classes Commission report, by giving Marathas the SEBC status, had included them in the OBCs. They would hence be eligible for a share of OBC reservation. The Chief Minister’s claim that it would not happen had no basis. “In addition, the report of the Backward Classes Commission, which the government is talking about, should be scrutinised. The commission had an overwhelming majority of Marathas, and the report came out in favour of Marathas,” he said.
“We will show our power through vote bank. It was we who supported the BJP in 2014, and it will be us who will bring them down in 2019,” he said.
The Opposition parties on Monday alleged that the government was delaying reservation for Marathas. Former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said that with the report of the Backward Classes Commission in hand, why was the Chief Minister waiting to announce the exact quantum of the reservation? “What’s the need of a sub-committee? Why has the report not been tabled in Assembly,” he asked.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said this reservation would not help Marathas benefit in Central exams or services. “This government had announced reservation for Dhangars in the first Cabinet meeting. It has now passed the topic to the Centre,” he said.