Maratha reservation: Prepare to celebrate on 1 December, says Devendra Fadnavis after commission submits report

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis told a gathering on Thursday to "prepare to celebrate on 1 December", after the Backward Class Commission submitted its report on Maratha reservation on Thursday.

In September, the Maharashtra government had told the Bombay High Court that the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission was likely to submit its report on social and economic conditions of the Maratha community by 15 November. The commission submitted the report on Thursday to Chief Secretary DK Jain.

"We have received the report, which is based on the economic, social conditions of the Marathas. Appropriate decision will be taken after studying it," Jain told reporters at Mantralaya after receiving the report.

PTI quoted a government source as saying that the report has made favourable recommendations on the demands of the Maratha community for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions, without disturbing the quota granted to Other Backward Classes (OBC).

Another government source told PTI that the commission went through 2 lakh memorandums submitted to it, surveys of about 45,000 families as well as empirical data on the social, financial and educational backwardness of the Maratha community.

File image of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

File image of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

"The commission went through historical records, old verdicts, studied constitutional provision, writings by noted anthropologist, sociologist Irawati Karve and several organisations like Pune's Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics and others," the source said. The panel was headed by Justice NG Gaikwad (retired).

A senior cabinet minister of the BJP told PTI the party cannot afford to lose their core base, the OBCs, ahead of the Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls in 2019. "The government has to provide the Maratha community 16 percent reservation. We cannot go below that. However, currently, 52 percent quota is in place. Therefore, the total reservation will go up to 68 percent," the minister said.

He further said the government is expecting that those opposing the decision will approach the high court, after the cabinet gives the nod to the recommendations and tables it in the Legislative Assembly during its Winter Session.

"If the court admits the plea, but does not stay the decision, like in the case of Tamil Nadu, then we can go ahead with it. The problem will arise if the court gives a stay order ahead of the elections," the minister said.

In July, the government had announced 16 percent reservation for the Marathas in 72,000 government jobs which was later stayed following protests.

On 25 June, 2014, months before the Assembly polls, the then Congress-NCP government under then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had announced 16 percent reservation quota in government jobs and in educational institutions for Marathas and five percent quotas for the Muslim community.

However, on 14 November, 2014, the Bombay High Court stayed the government decision and on 18 November, 2014, the Supreme Court had declined to vacate the high court stay.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Nov 15, 2018 16:17:19 IST

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