Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis accused the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of cheating and fooling Muslims and said the two parties despite having sufficient number in the state assembly did not make any serious effort to introduce and pass a bill providing the minority community quota in government jobs and education.
"So many commissions and committees includin Rangantah Mishra Committee, Sachar Committee and Mehmoodur Rehman Committee had recommended reservation for Muslims when the Congress was in power in the state as well as in center. Why didn't the Congress then make any effort to introduce and pass a bill to grant reservation to the minority community", Fadnavis said in the state Assembly Wednesday.
Fadnavis's comments came after opposition MLAs created ruckus in the house demanding reservation for Muslims along with Marathas.
Accusing the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party MLAs of misleading the minority community, Fadnavis said backward castes among Muslims were granted reservation when Shiv Sena and BJP were in power in 1990-95.
"52 backward castes among Muslims were given reservation by the previous Shiv Sena-BJP state government (in 90s). To give reservation, the castes need to be declared as backward first. Those demanding quota should first approach the State Backward Class Commission, and the commission's report will be binding on the government," he said.
"Our government is providing educational benefits to the backward communities among Muslims. For Congress and NCP, Muslims are just a vote bank and they never cared for their well-being," he charged.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a bill granting 16% reservations in education and government jobs to Marathas - a community which already dominates power in thr state.
The bill is passed about two weeks after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while addressing a rally in Ahmednagar had promised that the community will be granted reservation in government jobs and admission in educational instituitions before December 01.
Citing the recommendation by the Maharashtra State Backward Commission, Fadnavis had said the commission had come to the conclusion that Marathas fall under each of 25 categories of backwardness.
Before introducing the bill in the house, Fadnavis also tabled the action taken report (ATR) on the State Backward Class Commission's (SBCC) recommendations for reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and education.
He also tabled the recommendations of the SBCC's report on social, educational and financial status of the Maratha community.
The erstwhile Congress-NCP government had in 2014 passed an ordinance granting reservation in government jobs and education to Muslims and Marathas both. While the reservation to Marathas was challenged in court, the Muslim quota was put on the backburner after the ordinance lapsed in six months.
Critics also said that instead of bringing in the ordinance the Congress and NCP were needed to pass a bill providing reservation to Muslims.
"If the two parties were really honest about Muslim reservation, they should have had passed a bill like the BJP government did today for Marathas", Altaf Ameen of Noble Education & Welfare Society (NEWS), said while talking to ummid.com.
"They knew the life of an ordinance is only six months. They were also aware of the fact that they will not be retaining power in the state. It was also known to them that expecting the BJP or Shiv Sena to extend the ordinance or bring a bill on Muslim quota is next impossible", he said.
"Yet they brought in the ordinance, and not a bill. It was a clear case of fooling and cheating the community as the chief minister has said", he added.
For all the latest News, Opinions and Views, download ummid.com App.
Select Language To Read in Urdu, Hindi, Marathi or Arabic.
Maharashtra assembly passes bill to provide 16% reservation to Marathas
BJP government is doing exactly what Ambedkar had warned about
Muslims by their wisdom foiled attempt to disrupt peace over Ram temple : UP Minister
VHP, Shiv Sena Ram temple gambit in Ayodhya ends in a flop show
All humans descended from just two people, latest research shows
In world's first, Chinese researcher claims gene-edited babies
Only 16 and a CEO, Reyhan Jamalova is one of world's 100 most inspiring females
Palestinian Neurosurgeon declared Arab world's top innovator
Mars InSight lands on Red Planet, sends images; NASA erupts in cheers, applause