The Maratha community’s demand for reservations in jobs and education institutes surfaced in the state Legislature on Monday. “We are positive about reservations for Marathas on both fronts. But we are in the process of studying how we can go about it since 66 communities have approached us with similar demands,” said Minister of State for General Administration Fauzia Khan.
NCP legislator Vinayak Mete, who raised the issue, said almost 30 to 40 per cent of the state’s population belongs to the Maratha community and many of them are poor. “They do not have proper education and jobs since they come from economically weak backgrounds,” Mete said. “If the state provides them 25 per cent reservation then it will improve their condition.”
Khan said the Supreme Court had limited reservations in a state to 50 per cent. “Currently, reservations in the state for SC, ST and other backward classes is around 52 per cent,” Khan said. Mete said the order limiting total reservations to 50 per cent is an interim one and the state can ask for more. He quoted examples of states such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan where reservations exceed 50 per cent. The issue had cropped up in February when Maratha outfits had intensified their agitation for reservation for Marathas in education and employment.