Marathas to get reservation hints Fadnavis

Marathas to get reservation hints Fadnavis

Fadnavis said that the Maratha community should be ready for grand celebrations on December 1. PTI

In what could be politically significant ahead of the 2019 polls, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance government is all set to bestow reservations to the Maratha community.

This became evidently clear when Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the Maratha community should be ready for grand celebrations on December 1.

The statement of the chief minister came hours after the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSSBC) submitted its report to the Maharashtra government.

Justice (Retd) N G Gaikwad, the chairman of MSSBC had over the past few months conducted a series of public hearings and had gone through two lakh documents, letters, affidavits.

The Bombay High Court had set November 15 as the deadline for submission of the report.

MSSBC member-secretary DD Deshmukh handed over the voluminous report to Maharashtra chief secretary D K Jain.

"We have recieved the report from the MSSBC on the economic and social status of the Maratha community. We will study the report and it will be tabled before the Cabinet, which would proceed further," Jain said.

Though the contents of the report has not yet been made public, it is learnt that it is a favourable to enabling the state to grant reservation to the Maratha community in jobs and educational institutions without disturbing the quota granted to Other Backward Classes (OBC).

Of the total 52% reservation in the state, SCs and STs account for 13 and 7%, respectively, OBCs get 19%, VJNT, Special Backward Class and Nomadic Tribes account for 13%.

The Marathas comprise 33% of Maharashtra's nearly 11.25 crore population — and the demand for reservation goes back several decades. "We have received the report on the Maratha reservation (demand). In a fortnight's time, we would complete the formalities," Fadnavis said in the temple town of Shani Shingnapur in Ahmednagar district.

"Some people are fighting to take credit. Let us remember that the community as a whole had come together to demand reservation... some people are calling for protest on November 26, some on 27... some people are calling for agitation... why all this? Be ready for 'jallosh' (grand celebrations) on December 1," Fadnavis said.

Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said that they will work on the report to ensure that the reservation is legally and constitutionally tenable.

It is, however, not clear whether the government would go before the Bombay High Court and seek reservation — which has earlier stayed the decision to provide reservation to Marathas or go in for an ordinance. It is significant to mention here that the winter session of the Maharashtra legislature commences in Mumbai on November 19.

The principal Opposition parties, the Congress and the NCP gave guarded reactions.

"We have given 16% reservation to the Marathas. It is to be seen how much they provide for," former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said.

Senior NCP leader Dhananjay Munde said that since the report is with the government, they must study and announce it at the Cabinet meeting before the winter session.