Other States

Political slugfest begins in Maharashtra over Maratha quota

Mumbai

After the Supreme Court shut the door on reservation for Marathas, the community now stares at a bleak future path. While many believe that the Centre’s intervention is now the only option to solve the crisis, a political slugfest has already begun over the issue in Maharashtra.

A virtual meeting of Maratha organisations who were part of the agitation demanding reservation for the community will be organised on Thursday to discuss the court verdict and the way forward.

“Presently, we are reading the judgement delivered by the Supreme Court. It is more than a 600-page order. Once the judgement is understood in totality, we will be able to finalise on how to move forward,” said Rajendra Kondhare, one of the coordinators of Maratha Kranti Morcha.

Mr. Kondhare pointed out that the Maratha organisation will be scrutinising the State’s presentation of the cause in the court to check whether all facts were presented in totality.

Rajya Sabha MP Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje, who belongs to the lineage of warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, saying that the Centre and State both had the responsibility to ensure reservation was provided to Marathas.

“We want nothing other than this,” he said.

“We respect the Supreme Court. The community wants nothing but reservation. And to ensure that, the political leadership must come together by keeping differences aside,” he wrote.

According to observers, the court order is clear enough in denying socially and economically backward status to the community.

“There is no option but to ask the Central government for constitutional amendment to ensure Marathas get reservation now,” said Ashish Jadhav, senior journalist and commentator, who has been following the Maratha agitation from the beginning.

According to Mr. Jadhav, the way forward in the near future could be to ask Marathas to use the 10% Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota.

“The scrapped reservation had a creamy layer barrier, which had led to many well-off Marathas becoming unsympathetic to it. Also, it isn’t possible to include Marathas in OBCs as the court has denied backward status for the community,” he said, adding that constitutional amendment was now the only option left.

On the political front, the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi has already appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to step in and ensure reservation to Marathas, by showing the courage he showed in the case of Article 370.

The Opposition BJP has blamed the State government for not presenting the side of the Maratha community in court. So far, it has not offered a solution on how to move forward.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 2:50:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/political-slugfest-begins-in-maharashtra-over-maratha-quota/article34497704.ece

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