Mounting pressure on the Nationalist Congress Party, its ally, the state Congress has asked chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to roll back a decision mooted by an NCP minister in the last cabinet meeting.
The decision, taken last Wednesday, was to change the income limit for availing freeships in higher education under social reservation.
State Congress president Manikrao Thakre told mediapersons on Tuesday that the people who availed this facility are unhappy with the decision. He demanded that the decision be scrapped and the scheme be allowed to run under the notification issued in 2006.
Under the revised scheme, it has been decided that the SC (Scheduled Caste), ST (Scheduled Tribe), OBC (Other Backward Class) families should have an annual income up to Rs2 lakh to avail the scholarship.
The old scheme did not have any such provision. For other reservation categories, the income limit has been reduced to Rs2 lakh from Rs4.50 lakh.
Thakre said that the higher and technical education minister (and NCP leader) Rajesh Tope had moved the proposal, while finance minister (deputy chief minister and state NCP mandarin) Ajit Pawar had supported it as a cost-cutting measure.
Earlier, the Congress had forced the government to change a water allocation policy and also roll back a tax hike on cooking gas. Both decisions affected departments headed by NCP ministers.
Interestingly, a senior Congressman and social justice minister, Shivajirao Moghe, who supported NCP ministers, did not attend a meeting with Congress leaders on Tuesday. He told mediapersons last week that he did not approve of a financially stronger family to avail of free-ship under social reservation. “Why would a child of a collector, who belongs to a reserved category, get freeship?” Moghe had asked.