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Tensions rise within alliance after Maharashtra govt. scraps 33% reservation in promotions

Mumbai

The Maharashtra government’s decision to scrap 33% reservation in promotions has ignited a row between alliance partners of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

MVA ally Congress has given a call for a State-wide protest against its own government’s decision, saying the decision is to paint the Congress as anti-Dalit.

The timing of the new government resolution (GR) has raised eyebrows as it comes exactly two days after the Supreme Court’s verdict scrapping the Maratha reservation, with many believing that the move is to appease the sulking Maratha community and its officers.

On May 7, the General Administration Department (GAD) of the State government issued a GR scrapping 33% reservation in promotions for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribes and Special Backward Class category government officials.

The promotion quota was introduced on May 25, 2004, by the then State government of Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with Sushil Kumar Shinde being the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Under this, the promotion quota was decided for Scheduled Caste 13%, Scheduled Tribe 7%, Vimukta Jati 3%, Nomadic Tribes B, C and D as 2.5%, 3.5% and 2% respectively and Special Backward Class as 2%.

The Bombay High Court in its order on August 4, 2017, scrapped the GR. Since then, a case is pending in the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the then State government led by Devendra Fadnavis on December 29, 2017, said that 33% posts under reservation will remain vacant while the rest 67% posts will be filled.

On February 18, 2021, the present MVA government issued a GR cancelling the Fadnavis government’s decision and said 100% posts will be unreserved, scrapping the promotion quota. The decision was changed yet again on April 20, 2021, as it yet again cancelled its own decision and said that 33% seats will be kept vacant. Within 17 days, the new GR, yet again scrapping the promotion quota was issued.

“We have nothing against Maratha reservation. But if this decision was taken to appease Marathas, then it will be an injustice to backward communities,” said Sanjay Dabhade of Jati Ant Sangharsh Samiti (JASS).

The Congress, an ally in the MVA government, has, however, decided not to take this lightly and called for a State-wide agitation. A meeting of the party’s Scheduled Caste cell of the State unit was held on Friday where the decision was taken.

Maha vikas aghadi government must be made aware of the impact of this decision on backward communities and the discontent spread in the community,” said Power Minister Nitin Raut.

Senior party leader Bhalchandra Munagekar said that this seemed to be an attempt to malign the Congress’ image among Dalits.

The State-level party leaders will be meeting Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and senior Congress leaders such as Balasaheb Thorat, Nana Patole and Ashok Chavan, asking them to take back the decision.

District-level leaders will be meeting collectors to hand over a memorandum against the decision and at the same party will hit the streets against this decision.


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 6:09:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tensions-rise-within-alliance-after-maharashtra-govt-scraps-33-reservation-in-promotions/article34564024.ece

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