The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party stood united against the BJP-led government’s decision to scrap the 5% reservation for Muslims in jobs and education.
CM Devendra Fadnavis was firm about his government’s stance, and said the state will not take a decision that is against constitutional provisions.
The CM said the previous government had played vote-bank politics by introducing the reservation. “There are a few high court and Supreme Court verdicts that conflict the reservation. The decision [to give] 5% reservation to Muslims was taken by the previous government, keeping political gain in mind. We are seeking a legal opinion on this,” the CM said.
But Opposition MLAs aggressively pursued the issue, alleging discrimination by the state. Congress MLAs Arif Naseem Khan and Amin Patel and Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi pressed for a fresh bill in the session.
School and higher and technical education minister Vinod Tawde told the house the students from the community have been enjoying more than 7% reservation in higher education. He said he has data of admissions to professional courses over three years to support his claim. Former Assembly speaker and NCP MLA Dilip Walse Patil said scholars were disappointed with the government’s decision.
According the higher and technical education department, of all students admitted to professional courses in 2014-15, 5.54% were Muslims, and of them, 19.87% were from quotas such as SC/ST/OBC etc.