Just days after beef was banned in the State, the Maharashtra government has now officially scraped the five percent reservation to Muslims in education, a move that has triggered outrage and severe criticism from opposition parties.
A Government Resolution (GR) issued by the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP-Sena government has now nullified the previous notification issued by the NCP-Congress government in July 2014 granting reservation to Muslims (and Marathas).
Now the GR issued by the State Minority Affairs Department means that the quota for Muslims in both jobs and education has been scrapped.
This is sure to trigger a controversy as despite a High Court ruling scrapping quota for Marathas, the BJP government passed a law in that regard, while the quota for Muslim has been removed despite the court approving it at least in the education sector.
State Minority Affairs Minister Eknath Khadse said the GR was scrapped as the government was unable to take any decision on the issue. The government was waiting for Advocate General Sunil Manohar’s opinion on the issue sought by the government. The Government, however, says that it would protect all those who have got admissions in educational institutions and jobs under the same quota.
Watch video : Politicos slam govt for scraping quota, BJP says decision taken is constitutional
Just before the elections, the Congress-NCP government announced reservation for Marathas (16 per cent) and Muslims (five per cent). However, this was challenged in court through several petitions. Thereafter, the court scrapped the reservation for Marathas but partially allowed reservation for Muslims (in education) while scrapping quota for their jobs. In the last Assembly session, the BJP-Sena government allowed the Muslim quota to lapse triggering wide outrage while at the same time bringing a law for Maratha reservation.
The opposition parties led by the Congress and the NCP lashed out at the government’s latest decision. Former CM and newly-appointed State Congress president Ashok Chavan has called upon an immediate meeting on the issue on Friday.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik accused the government of being run from the RSS headquarters and said the BJP’s anti-Muslim agenda was apparent now.