Guwahati: In a rather cheerful and much-awaited news for the Maratha community in Maharashtra, the Maharashtra Cabinet on Sunday announced its decision to extend reservation to the Maratha community. Under this decision of reservation for the Marathas, a new category called Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) will be created for the community which will help the community in availing benefits in social and education issues, as was long demanded by them. The creation of the new category is done on the recommendations of the State Backward Class Commission.
The announcement on the decision of the cabinet was made public by the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at a press conference held on the eve of the winter session of the State legislature. The detailed and final layout of the reservation quantum will be fixed by the Cabinet sub-committee and will present the same in the next two weeks.
Mr. Fadnavis adds, “The report of the Backward Class Commission made three recommendations.”
These recommendations are that Marathas are socially and educationally backward class of citizens with minuscule representation in the government and semi-government services. Such socially and educationally backward class can be extended benefits of reservation under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution and it is, in view of such extraordinary and exceptional conditions that the State government decided to extend reservation for the community.
When the CM was asked as to if the proposed reservation for Marathas will cross the 50% mark set by the Supreme Court, Mr Fadnavis stated that the this has been clearly mentioned by the BC Commission that the condition of Marathas was extraordinary and exceptional.
Fadnavis says, “Even the Supreme Court has said this earlier. Also, even though the case of Tamil Nadu crossing 50% reservation is pending in the Supreme Court, it has not been struck down either. We are confident of extending reservation to Marathas.”
The CM was also asked if they needed the nod of the Central government and the Centre’s various bodies on the need to bring out the legislation in the State and to this, Fadnavis said, “We do not need permission from the Centre.”
The CM further stated that the opposition is sure to be blamed for spreading misinformation and criticized them for attempting to create animosity within the community.
Fadnavis was also asked by the media as to what is their decision on the demand of the Dhangars, and the CM added, “The Dhangars are presently under the VJNT category with 3.5% reservation. Their demand is that they should be added in the Scheduled Tribe category, which comes under the Centre’s purview. We will make the recommendation to the Centre.”