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Maharashtra govt to announce reservation for Marathas, mum on Muslims
Saturday June 14, 2014 6:09 AM, & Agencies

In a statement made keeping an eye on the assembly elections, Maharashtra industry minister Narayan Rane Friday said the decision to allow 20 per cent reservation for the maratha community will be announced on June 21 but was completely silent on extending the same to Muslims.

Maharashtra Reservation
[Muslims in Maharashtra in May 2013 had taken a paidal march from Malegaon to Mumbai demanding reservation. photo]

"The decision about granting reservation to the marathas will be taken after June 20. I have recommended a 20 percent reservation which will not affect the existing reservations in the other backward community category. The cabinet will take the decision after the code of conduct gets over on June 20th," Rane informed the Council on Friday.

Rane said since the code of conduct for graduate constituencies will end on June 20, the decision will be announced a day later.

The government had appointed a committee under Rane to recommend reservation for the maratha community. The committee recommended 20 per cent and submitted its report to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan in March this year.

The issue of reservation was raised by MLC Vinayak Mete in the council, as there was no specific deadline mentioned by the government to take a final decision. He said the government is taking decision eyeing the polls and not sure if it will stand in the court.

Rane said the committee surveyed 5.5 lakh families and 18 lakh people from the community. It also reviewed social, educational and financial plight of the maratha community based on which the reservation is recommended.

The reservation is on the lines of Tamil Nadu government, he added and based on the constitutional provisions. The Tamil Nadu government has given 72 per cent reservation when the rules permit 51 per cent. The matter went to the Supreme Court.

Also the proposal has been sent to the Backward Class Commission for its approval.

"Even if the Commission is not in favour of the report, the government will go ahead with the decision of 20 per cent reservation," said Rane.

Rane however was silent on the similar recommendation made by Mehmoodur Rehman Committee, appointed by the state government to study the socio-economic condition of Muslims.

The committee headed by Dr. Mehmoodur Rehman (IAS) in its report submitted to the government in October 2013 had recommended reservation for Muslims based on their population.

Reservations already exist among OBCs for a section of Marathas, known as Kunbis. Maratha Kunbis, who are largely agriculturists, constituted 31.5 per cent of the population. They have a large presence in Vidarbha and Konkan.

Today, a total 356 backward castes get 19 per cent reservations, 51 scheduled castes and tribes get 11 per cent and 11 other castes in the special backward category get 2 per cent.


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