Maratha reservations: Chaos continues
A day after the Bombay high court (HC) upheld 12% reservation for Marathas in education and 13% in jobs under the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category, there is still confusion over the quota on state and central level.
Maratha community members with an annual income of less than ₹8 lakh are entitled to reservation in jobs and education in the state. But if they fit the category, they can also avail of 10% Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota in jobs and education on national level.
Moreover, a section of some OBC castes, which get 19% reservation in the state, have also raised questions about the inclusion of Kunbis in their categories. In some parts of the state, Kunbis are considered as Marathas, and even the report submitted by the State Backward Class Commission on backwardness of Marathas has said that both the communities are same. So far, the government is silent on this aspect.
Leader of Opposition in legislative Assembly had raised the issue in Lower house on Thursday and questioned reservations for Kunbis in OBC category, but that for Marathas in SEBC. This issue was raised during the arguments in the HC, but government counsel had then said SEBC was an inclusive category and if the government felt fit, it could add more castes to it.
“Marathas will not be entitled to the 10% reservation under EWS at state level, as the quota is reserved only for people who don’t get any other reservation. This has been clarified by the government during our recruitment drive which is underway. Candidates seeking 10% reservation under EWS need to reveal their castes, leaving no room to seek two quotas,” said an official from the general administration department.
The non-creamy layer section of the community will have to compete in 10% reservation of EWS in central government institutions. A section of OBC communities also raised doubts over the misuse of the quota by some powerful castes, using fake documents. “There are thousands of examples in which people have obtained certificates as OBCs and Marathas for two different purposes. Similarly, it is very easy to obtain fake income certificates in the state. We are afraid that this tactic may be used by undeserving people,” said a petitioner representing OBC community.
Mrunal Dhole Paitl, an OBC activist and a petitioner in the 2014 reservation case, said, “We welcome the HC decision as far as our interest is safeguarded.”
Balasaheb Sarate, one of the persons who intervened in the interest of Marathas in the High Court, said, “The reservation to Kunbis in OBC and their inclusion in our reservation is a non-issue. People with vested interests are raising it. If Kunbis are included in SEBC, their share of reservation in OBC quota, too, should be added to ours.”