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Marathas won’t be included in OBC quota, says Devendra Fadnavis

The Marathas will not be included in the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category for reservations, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said in the state assembly on Thursday, adding, doing so would have a “catastrophic effect”.

mumbai Updated: Nov 22, 2018 23:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai
Maratha,OBC,quota
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ statement on how the quota will be implemented comes just days after OBC leaders said they feared the quota their community is entitled to will be diluted.(PTI/File Photo)

The Marathas will not be included in the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category for reservations, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said in the state assembly on Thursday, adding, doing so would have a “catastrophic effect”.

The government also announced that it has set up a cabinet subcommittee to implement the Maratha reservation. The panel, comprising seven senior ministers and an IAS officer as a member secretary, will be headed by revenue minister Chandrakant Patil. PWD minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, education minister Vinod Tawde, water conservation minister Ram Shinde are among its other members.

Fadnavis’ statement on how the quota will be implemented comes just days after OBC leaders said they feared the quota their community is entitled to will be diluted. Currently, reservations in Maharashtra add up to 52%, above the Supreme Court-mandated cap of 50%.

The Marathas demand a 16% quota, and the state agreed to the demand after the Maharashtra State Backward Classes Commission’s report endorsed the community’s social, educational and financial backwardness. The amount of reservation has not yet been decided.

The state plans to provide Maratha reservations under a separate class, called the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC), by making use of an exception in the SC’s ruling that said rules may need to be relaxed in case of extraordinary situations. Fadnavis said the government was confident about granting reservation to the community under this separate category as it was according to the SC ruling.

Fadnavis said including the Marathas in the existing reservation for OBCs — the community constitutes 52% of the state’s population and get 27% reservation — will disturb the existing quota. He added that the fear of legal scrutiny in case a new category is created was needless as the court has allowed it.

“In its 1992 judgment, the SC allowed states to breach the 50%-limit in exceptional and extraordinary circumstances,” Fadnavis said. “Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have extended the limit using the ruling. Further, the report submitted by the panel ratifies that such a situation prevails in the state. The SEBC category will help us give reservation to the Marathas without touching the existing 52% quota,” he told the house.

Earlier in the day, Opposition leaders in both houses raised the issue of reservation and demanded that the state tables the MSCBC report. The state government is likely to introduce the bill for Maratha reservation early next week. The reservation is likely to be between 15% and 16%.

First Published: Nov 22, 2018 23:16 IST