In a desperate attempt to retain power in the state, the Congress-NCP government on Wednesday approved 16% reservation for Marathas and 5% for Muslims in government jobs and educational institutions across the state, raising the overall reservation in Maharashtra to 73%. The move leaves just 27% of jobs and seats for those from the open category.
After suffering a rout in the Lok Sabha polls, the CongressNCP combine seems to have decided to please the Maratha community, which is 32% of the state’s population, and the Muslims (10.6%), both of who have traditionally been supporters of the ruling alliance.
Although the proposals were being discussed in the state for several years, the ruling parties cleared it only after the defeat in the recent elections. The Congress managed to win just two Lok Sabha seats, while NCP won four seats out of the total 48 seats in the state. The results showed that even the traditional support base of the alliance had deserted them.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, however, denied that the move was politically motivated.