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After reservation for Marathas, AIMIM, NCP, Congress press Maharashtra govt for Muslim quota

While the Congress and NCP brought up the issue of quota for Muslims, AIMIM legislator Imtiyaz Jaleel announced his party will approach the Bombay high court seeking reservation.

mumbai Updated: Nov 30, 2018 23:46 IST
Maratha,AIMIM,NCP
With the clamour for reservation growing, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said his government is not against giving reservation benefits to those backward in the Muslim community.

A day after the Maharashtra legislature passed a bill granting 16% quota in government jobs and education to Marathas, clamour grew for reservation to Muslims too. While the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) brought up the issue of a quota for the Muslim community, on Friday, an All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) legislator Imtiyaz Jaleel announced his party will approach the high court, seeking the reservation.

The previous Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra had granted the Muslim community a 5% reservation, while giving a 16 % quota to Marathas, by promulgating an ordinance in 2014. The decision was partially struck down by the Bombay high court.

The high court had allowed a quota for Muslims only in education, taking into consideration the community’s educational backwardness. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, however, refused to grant the quota as they didn’t want reservation on religious grounds.

“We are sceptical about state government doing anything for reservation to Muslims,” said Jaleel. “We tried to expose the government...on the MSCBC data based on which Maratha reservation decision was taken. The situation of Muslims is even worse than the Marathas and we have reports of three commissions...to prove that. We are now going to challenge the government’s move for not providing reservation to Muslims...”

With the clamour for reservation growing, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said his government is not against giving reservation benefits to those backward in the Muslim community. “The government can do so only if the Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes (MSCBC) recommends it,” said Fadnavis.

“MSCBC recommendation is mandatory to provide reservation to any community. The commission needs to be approached to get reservation benefits to the community whose recommendations are also binding on the government. I am ready to hold a meeting with Muslim legislators to discuss the modalities.”

The chief minister also told the Assembly that they can’t give reservation on basis of religion. “Islam has no concept of caste, whereas we provide reservation only on caste basis. However, some of the communities from the community, who had converted from Hinduism to Islam, were getting reservations on the basis of their caste under OBC category,” Fadnavis said.

Meanwhile, governor Ch Vidysagar Rao on Friday gave his approval to the legislation granting reservation to Marathas under a new Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category. The state’s law and judiciary department has now begun the process to issue the notification to implement the reservation.

Also, immediately after the quota legislation, the Maharashtra government announced the recruitment process for 72,000 posts in the state administration. The recruitment will have a quota for Marathas along with other reserved categories.

First Published: Nov 30, 2018 23:46 IST