The state BJP on Friday demanded that Maharashtra adopt the Tamil Nadu model to facilitate the reservation in education and jobs to Maratha community in state.
The leader of the Opposition in the state’s Legislative Council, Vinod Tawde, made a presentation Friday before a committee headed by Industries Minister Narayan Rane at Konkan Bhawan in Navi Mumbai to this effect.
The Rane committee’s dilemma, however, is that any move to grant reservation to the Maratha community would invite objections from the court.
A Supreme Court order mandates that such quotas cannot exceed 50 per cent. In Maharashtra, separate quotas for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, VJNT/nomadic and other backward castes already add up to 50 per cent. If the state government sanctions another 17 per cent quota as demanded by various Maratha outfits, the total figure will go up to 67 per cent.
Tawde, however, held his ground. “Maharashtra needs to follow Tamil Nadu, which evolved a separate law in 1994, in which it incorporated economically backward people from all the communities, thus increasing the total quota up to 69 per cent,” he said, adding the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra was not serious about the reservation for Marathas.
Marathas constitute 30 per cent of the vote bank in Maharashtra.
While Congress and NCP have voiced support for reservations for Maratha, the opposition is divided on the issue, with Shiv Sena opposing any community-based quota.
On the other hand, OBC leaders across parties argue that Maratha reservation is a ploy to dilute their political hold in state.
Leaders like Chhagan Bhujbal and Gopinath Munde have indicated in the past that they will not allow 27 per cent quota for OBCs to be split to accommodate Marathas.