Devendra Fadnavis calls meeting of Maratha BJP MLAs, ministers to reach out to community amid quota stir

Mumbai: Facing heat due to the renewed agitation for Maratha quota, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has called a meeting of BJP ministers and party legislators from the Maratha community.

The chief minister has called a meeting late this evening of a select group of the party's Maratha legislators along with BJP ministers, who can open channels of
communications with the leaders of the agitation, a government source said.

The government's stand on the Maratha community's demand for reservation in government jobs and educational institutes has been that the issue is pending before the Bombay High Court.

 Devendra Fadnavis calls meeting of Maratha BJP MLAs, ministers to reach out to community amid quota stir

File photo of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

"To ensure that its decision (to give 16 percent reservation to the Marathas) stands scrutiny in the court, the government will provide all possible assistance to the Backward Classes Commission to expedite its survey work," the source said.

The government will provide additional manpower and technical support to the commission so that it can submit its report by August-end, a month before the scheduled date, the source said.

The commission has been tasked with collecting data about socio-economic condition of the Maratha community. After meeting BJP ministers and legislators, Fadnavis is expected to invite Opposition legislators from the Maratha community for talks, the source said.

Following the resignations of Shiv Sena MLA Harshawardhan Jadhav and NCP MLA Bhausaheb Chikatgaonkar, who said they were quitting to support the agitation, MLAs Seema Hirey and Rahul Aher (both BJP), Bharat Bhalke (Congress) and Ramesh Kadam (NCP) have offered to tender resignations over the quota issue.

Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde took a veiled swipe at Fadnavis today by telling Maratha protesters in Beed district that she would have taken decision on the quota demand quickly if the "file" had been on her table.

Before that, as violence was reported from various places during the bandh called by Maratha outfits on Friday, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut created a flutter, stating that there was talk of replacing Fadnavis within the BJP. The BJP immediately denied Raut's claim.

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Updated Date: Jul 28, 2018 00:06:43 IST