Ahead of the state assembly polls, the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) run state government has decided to approve the reservation for the Muslim and Marathas.
As per sources, the Congress-NCP has decided to approve the reservation in the ongoing legislative assembly session. The Mehmood-ur-Rehman Committee had recommended that Muslims should be given 8%-10% reservation in education and jobs in Maharashtra. Besides, there should be 10% reservation for Muslim women. The committee was set up by the state government in 2008 to study the economic and social backwardness among Muslims. The committee had recently submitted its report to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
Amin Patil, Congress MLA, told dna that out of one crore muslims, about 60% are living below the poverty line (BPL). "A majority of muslims are staying in urban areas and facing serious problems such as housing, health, education and lack of job opportunities. The state government has also increased its budget for minorities to Rs 500crore, against the earlier Rs360 crore. I am certain that by giving reservation, the socio-economic status of the minorities will improve," said Patel.
Vinayak Mete, the MLC who was spearheading the Maratha reservation agitation said that the state government should not delay reservation to Maratha community. The senior NCP minister told dna that the state cabinet ought to reject the Bapat committee report, with regards to the Maratha reservation. "Bapat Committee had rejected the reservation for the Maratha community. So, we will reject this report and later on accept the Rane committee suggestions. Presently, the recommendation to Maratha reservation is being submitted to the state reservation commission for its remark. If it okays it, then the decision will not be challenged in court," he said.
A senior NCP leader requesting anonymity, said, "Our government had delayed a majority of projects and decisions and therefore, we lost badly in the Lok Sabha elections. We need to expedite the work by approving various projects and starting schemes. Giving reservation will change the party image and more people will support us in the state assembly election."