Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has finally managed to settle the Maratha reservation issue. In move that will go a long way to meet their long demands the Maharashtra government has accepted the State Backward Class Commission’s report and decided to give quota in jobs and educational institutes to the Maratha community, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said .
The reservation will be granted to the community under a new category called ‘Socially and Educationally Backward Class’ (SEBC) as per the recommendation of the commission, he said.
The politically dominant Maratha community constitutes over 30 per cent of the state’s population.
Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting on the eve of the winter session of Maharashtra legislature , Fadnavis said, “The state cabinet has accepted the backward class commission’s report for Maratha reservation.
“Quantum of reservation will be fixed by the cabinet sub-committee assigned to chalk out technical aspects of the bill (granting quota) which will be tabled in the coming session,” he said.
After the commission submitted its report to the government earlier this week, Fadnavis had hinted that the demand for quota would be fulfilled.
The Maratha community has been demanding quota for a long time and its agitation for the same in July and August this year had taken a violent turn.
According to government sources, the commission’s report has said that Marathas are a “socially and educationally backward class of citizens” with minuscule representation in government and semi-government services.
A socially and educationally backward class can be extended benefits of reservation under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution, and in view of such extra-ordinary and exceptional condition, the state government is liable to take action, the report has said, sources maintained.
Asked whether the proposed reservation for Marathas will cross the 50 per cent ceiling set by the Supreme Court, Fadnavis said the commission has described the condition of Maratha community as “extra-ordinary and exceptional”.
“Even though the case of Tamil Nadu, where reservation has crossed 50 per cent mark, is pending in the apex court, it has not been struck down. We are confident of extending reservation to Marathas,” he said.