With virtually all political parties backing reservations for Muslims and Marathas in the state, there is growing demand for a quick resolution of the issue
Ashok Kumar | Clarion India
MUMBAI – The Union Government should intervene and ensure that the Maharashtra government go ahead with its reservation policy relating to Muslims and Marathas in the state, a leading politician has urged the Centre.
Fauzia Khan, the Rajya Sabha MP, and a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader from Marathawada, told a central minister in Delhi about the need for the government to give reservations for both Muslims and Marathas in the state at the earliest.
“Both Muslims and Marathas in the state are poor and they need support from the government by way of reservations,” Khan told Clarion India on Thursday. “There are lakhs of people, both among Muslims and Marathas who are desperate for jobs now. The government has to ensure reservation, especially since all political parties are backing it.”
A former minister in the state (between 2008 and 2014), Khan said the NCP, which was part of the coalition government then, had initiated the move to provide reservations for both Marathas and Muslims. A high court upheld the reservation for Muslims in an interim order in 2014, but the change in government saw the ordinance lapse.
But today, all political parties are backing the move to reserve five per cent jobs for Muslims, she says. About two years back, Uddhav Thackeray, now the state’s chief minister, had endorsed the proposal for reservation for Muslims.
However, the three-party Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi coalition which is ruling the state – comprising the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress – is apparently having differences. A few months ago, Nawab Malik, the state’s minister for minorities, had said the government would table a bill providing five per cent reservation for Muslims.
While the bill has not been introduced, a Shiv Sena minister also denied the government had taken such a decision. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had stayed a state law relating to reservations for Marathas. Sharad Pawar, the NCP supremo, had said the government would consider the option of bringing in an ordinance, a move that was opposed by the Sena.
Activists elsewhere in the state are, however, urging the government to accelerate the pace of introducing reservation for Muslims and Marathas. The Muslim Reservation Action Committee and the Janajagaran Samiti told the government to set up a backward class commission to provide five per cent reservation for Muslims in education and jobs.