Mumbai: 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 panel had suggested that looking at exceptional circumstances and extra-ordinary situations generated on declaring Marathas as socially and educationally backward and their consequential entitlement to reservation benefits, the government may take appropriate decision within constitutional provision to address the emerging scenario in the state, according to PTI.
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.
The Maharashtra assembly has in the last three days witnessed unruly scenes in the house over the demand of Muslim reservation. The opposition members led by Vikhe Patil, Malegaon MLA Asif Shaikh Rasheed, Abu Asim Azam and others were demanding that along with Marathas, the government should also pass a bill to grant reservation to Muslims.
The state government however refused to concede to the opposition demand saying reservation on the basis of religion can't be granted.
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