Maharashtra approves 16% Maratha quota in jobs and education
Marathas, the politically influential community in Maharashtra, will now be able to get 16% reservation in government jobs and education in the state. The state legislature on Thursday cleared the quota bill within minutes of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tabling the legislation, first in the state assembly, and later, the upper house.
The bill is called the Maharashtra State Reservation (of seats for admission in education institutions in the state and for appointments in public services and posts under the state) for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018.
With the move, the caste reservation quota in the state will now reach 68% from the existing 52%. It will come into force as soon as Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao clears the law. But the bill could still undergo intense legal scrutiny.
The previous Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government too had given 16% quota to the Maratha community in 2014, which was later set aside by the court.
The current Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state insists that it has followed a legally viable route since its decision is based on recommendations of the state backward class commission, which has the legal status to decide the backwardness of a particular community. The decision on quota is based on the commission’s recommendations.
The reservation to the community that comprises around 32% population of the state, has been granted on the basis on the report by the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC) that has declared it as socially and educationally backward.
The commission has also recommended that the state government must take appropriate decision for providing reservation benefits to the Marathas under constitutional provisions to address the emerging scenario.
The community has been demanding reservation for decades and will now get reservation facilities as SEBC community. The state government was under tremendous pressure over providing reservation to Marathas as the community outfits had started state-wide agitations for past two years.
All political parties have already declared their support to the reservation demand to Marathas. No discussion took place on the bill, when Fadnavis tabled it in the both the Houses one by one.
Leader of opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar and leaders from all the political parties in the state assembly extended their support to the bill that was passed without any discussion. In council too, it was passed within minutes.
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