‘CM to urge PM to take positive stand on Maratha quota’

State Public Works Department Minister Ashok Chavan on Friday said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will be writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to urge him to take a positive stand to protect the constitutional validity of the 16% reservation in education and jobs extended to the Maratha community.

Mr. Chavan, who heads a sub-committee of the State Cabinet on the issue, said, “The deadlock in the case being heard in the Supreme Court can be resolved only at the level of the Central government. The Centre needs to take a clear stand on this issue and the Chief Minister will be writing to the Prime Minister. We appeal to all members of Parliament from the State to hold a meeting with the Prime Minister.”

The previous State government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party had enacted a law to grant reservation to the community under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes category. While the Bombay High Court cleared the quota law, the Supreme Court stayed it and the matter is pending before a larger Bench of the court. Hearing on the matter will begin on January 25 and the Centre will be presenting its stand on the issue.

Mr. Chavan said, “The State government will be presenting its case strongly. But the Centre needs to take a positive stand too. The apex court had issued a notice to the Attorney General in the previous hearing. This is an opportunity for the Central government to make its stand clear.”

Mr. Chavan said the Supreme Court should reconsider the existing 50% cap on reservations because if the Maratha quota comes into effect, the total reservation in the State will exceed 50%. He said, “Many State governments have already crossed this limit. Therefore, the landmark judgment in the 1993 Indira Sawhney case capping quotas at 50% needs a relook. This can happen if the Centre takes a positive stand on the issue.”

Mr. Chavan pointed out that reservations in Tamil Nadu had exceeded 69% and the quota announced for the Economically Weaker Sections also crossed the limit. “None of it has been stayed, except for the Maratha reservation,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 9:07:16 PM |

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