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Ajit Pawar-led NCP leader demands reservation for Muslims in Maharashtra

“No matter which government comes to power in Maharashtra, no one takes the issue of reservation for Muslim community seriously and does not implement this reservation approved by the court, it is disgraceful!', said NCP vice president Saleem Sarang.
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 07:25 IST
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 07:25 IST

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Mumbai: In a significant development, a senior leader of Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which is part of BJP-led Maha Yuti (NDA) coalition, has demanded political reservation for Muslims in Maharashtra besides in jobs and education.

The demand has come from NCP vice president Saleem Sarang, who is among those who had been demanding reservation for Muslims over decades.

However, the fresh demand includes political reservation.

Sarang also threatened to undertake protests and take to the streets to demand reservation for Muslims.

“None of the big parties fielded any Muslim candidate. There is not a single Muslim MP from Maharashtra. There is not a single Muslim minister in the Narendra Modi government,” Sarang said.

Sarang’s statement comes in the run up to the Vidhan Sabha polls in Maharashtra, scheduled in October.

Besides, it is noteworthy to mention here that the local bodies elections - in municipal corporations and municipal councils - are pending for a long time.

Sarang said that the Maharashtra government has not yet implemented the 5 percent reservation in education for the Muslim community approved by the Bombay High Court. “If this reservation is implemented in other states then why not in Maharashtra?,” he asked.

When the erstwhile Democratic Front government comprising Congress and undivided NCP was in power, the reservation for Muslims were extended.

"If N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which is now an ally of the BJP and a crucial member of the NDA government, can declare a 4 per cent reservation to Muslims in Andhra Pradesh, what is stopping Maharashtra government to implement the 5 per cent reservation to Muslims in education which is already passed by the High Court?,” said Sarang, one of the vocal members and firebrand leaders of the Muslims community in Maharashtra.

"In the matter of education, the Muslim community is still backward due to economic constraints and figures speak for themselves. As many as 75 percent of children aged six to 14 miss out on education within the first few years of school. Only two to three percent of children receive higher education. The proportion of Muslims below the poverty line is also high. This ratio is two to two and a half percent in government jobs as well as private jobs. Drug addiction and criminality are increasing among uneducated, unemployed Muslim youth. The root cause of all this is education,” said Sarang, who is also a prominent social worker.

Making a strong statement, he said: “No matter which government comes to power in Maharashtra, no one takes the issue of reservation for Muslim community seriously and does not implement this reservation approved by the court, it is disgraceful! It seems that every party uses Muslims only to get votes in elections. But no one seems to be fighting for the rights of Muslims.”

“Muslims vote, but they don't get an opportunity to be voted! We could see a steep decline in Muslim candidacy by almost all the parties. Is this a conspiracy to keep Muslims deliberately away from political leadership? It seems along with educational reservation, Muslims must demand political reservation as well,” Sarang added.

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Published 11 June 2024, 07:25 IST

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