The state government has finally decided not to give 5% reservation to the Muslim community in both jobs and education.
With this decision, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government will have to face the community’s wrath, just a day after it faced flak for the beef ban.
The decision was announced through a government resolution dated March 2, 2015 by which the state cancelled the earlier resolution of July 24, 2014 brought in by the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government that announced the 5% reservation. The July decision also included 16% reservation for Marathas, which was upheld by the new BJP government through a bill introduced in December last year.
Following petitions from different quarters, the Bombay high court had stayed the proposed reservations, but upheld the 5% for Muslims in education, while scrapping reservation for jobs.
The HC said the reservations in the state exceeded the 50% cap set by the Supreme Court. The overall reservation quota for SCs, STs and OBCs in the state adds up to 52%.
Following this, the new BJP government decided to challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court, and filed a special leave petition on December 4, 2014. It also lined up two bills to put up before the legislature to provide reservation to both the communities, but the Muslim reservation bill never came forth.
The Opposition alleged the government was indulging in divisive politics and indirectly pushing the Hindutva agenda, which was affecting the Muslim community.
“This decision is very unfortunate and shows the BJP-Sena government’s bias against the Muslim community. If the HC has given a nod for reservation in education, why has the BJP government not come out with a law for the same? It only shows they are towing the RSS line,” said NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik. State Congress president Ashok Chavan called for an urgent rollback of the Muslim reservation decision. “This is totally unfair and against Muslims. Our government was keen on getting the reservation in place because our intention was right. I have called for a meeting to decide the party’s next strategy to tackle this issue,” Chavan said.