Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday informed the Assembly that the government will not issue a notification to reinstate 5% reservation in educational institutes for backward castes in Muslim community, since no legal framework exists to support it.
The Chief Minister’s remark came after the State’s Minority Affairs Minister Eknath Khadse had assured the House that the government was positive on reservation demands of Muslim community.
The Assembly on Wednesday was adjourned twice following a ruckus created by the united opposition that demanded a notification from the government reinstating reservation in educational institutes, since the Bombay High Court has cleared the same.
A year ago, the BJP-led State government had issued an ordinance ensuring reservations for both Maratha and Muslim communities in educational institutes and jobs. The ordinance was later challenged in the Bombay High Court, which put a stay on it. While the educational reservation for backward castes in Muslim community is cleared by the court, the issue of Maratha reservation is still pending.
Meanwhile, the ordinance lapsed and the opposition is demanding a new notification during the ongoing session to continue educational benefits to Muslim community.
Backward castes in Muslim community, such as Khatik, Fakir and Maniyar, are given reservation benefits under this ordinance.
“We are not demanding reservation based on religion. Our government had studied backward castes in Muslim community and only those were given the benefits. Now that even the Bombay High Court has approved it, the government must not delay in issuing the notification,” said former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. He was joined by leaders from the Congress, the NCP and the MIM.
Mr. Khadse declared that the BJP-led government was positive on providing reservation for Muslims and is working towards it. “We want to ensure that everything fits in the legal framework. We will not follow your (Congress-NCP) path of giving reservation for the sake of political benefits,” he said.