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Sep 14, 2017 11:35 AM IST | Source:

Maharashtra government weighs Maratha reservations

Marathas, who account for 32-35 percent of the state’s population, have the support of all political parties in Maharashtra for their demands.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has put together a five-member Cabinet sub-committee to look into the demand for reservations for the Maratha community.

According to a Livemint report, this is a follow-up to the Chief Minister’s promise to the Maratha community after the August 9 Mumbai march carried out by various Maratha organisations to press for their demands. The state government is reportedly in favour of the quota.

Fadnavis also stated that the committee will be in correspondence with the Maratha organisations every three months.

The previous Congress and Nationalist Congress Party-led government had passed an ordinance in September 2014 for 16 percent reservation for the Maratha community. However, social activists challenged it in the Bombay High Court. The ordinance was then struck down.

On December 2014, the newly formed BJP-Shiv Sena government passed an Act restoring the Maratha quota which was stayed by the high court in April 2015. In May this year, the Bombay HC said the state government can raise the issue with the commission for backward classes. The commission will then analyse and see whether Marathas are socially and economically deprived enough to deserve the quota.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and minister for public works department Chandrakant Patil will head the committee. Girish Mahajan and Sambhaji Patil-Nilangekar from the BJP, and Diwakar Raote and Eknath Shinde from the Shiv Sena are the committee numbers. They all represent the Maratha community.

Marathas, who account for 32-35 percent of the state’s population, have the support of all political parties in Maharashtra for their demands. The report stated that the organizations of Other Backward Classes (OBC) and scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/ST) have warned against sandwiching the Maratha's reservations with quotas allotted to the SC/ST and OBC groups.

A BJP minister in the Maharastra government who is not part of the sub-committee said that the sub-committee might also have to follow up the proposal with the commission for backward classes as well.
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