Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has said that the state government will some kind of relief to the Maratha community till the final SC verdict on the reservation issue comes out.
File photo Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray | PTI
Amidst the growing clamour for bringing an ordinance to restore the reservation for the Maratha community, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to approach Chief Justice Sharad Bobde with a request to constitute a Constitution bench to decide the validity of the reservation.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray called an all-party meeting at the Sahyadri Guest House to discuss the government’s future strategy on the matter after the Supreme Court on September 9 stayed the state’s act in this regard. The Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC) Act has a provision of 12 and 13 per cent reservation in educational institutes and government jobs, respectively, for the Maratha community.
In the meeting, CM Thackeray said that the government is likely to take a call on approaching the SC by September 22. “We are discussing the matter with every stakeholder. We will announce a comprehensive decision in this regard in a day or two,” Thackeray told reporters after the meeting.
Calling the SC verdict as “unexpected”, Thackeray said the government is thinking on what relief could be given to the Maratha community till the final SC verdict is out. “It will be a long legal battle. The government is with the community. I appeal the community members not to protest as the government is listening to them,” the CM said.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said the government should revive the SARATHI institute founded by him to train the Maratha students for competitive examinations. “The government should pay their fees till the reservation is restored,” Fadnavis said. He also demanded that the Annasaheb Patil Corporation, which provides financial help to Maratha entrepreneurs, should be provided substantial funds.
Fadnavis refuted the allegation that the Union government did not help the state government in sustaining the Maratha reservation. “The Centre does not have a role to play in this matter. It is the state act. In fact, ours was a rare act which was validated by the Bombay High Court,” Fadnavis said.
The BJP leader assured that the opposition will back the government’s moves on the matter of the reservation. “All the parties are clear that the community should get the benefits of the reservation. I don’t want to do politics in this matter,” he said.