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Maharashtra government issues Maratha, Muslim quota ordinance; experts call it half-baked

Saturday, 12 July 2014 - 6:50am IST | Agency: dna

The state government on Friday issued an ordinance for Maratha and Muslim reservation in education and jobs. Experts, however, allege it is a half-baked ordinance that will have to face many legal hurdles, and will need the new state government's approval for its continuity.

As per the ordinance, which governor K Sankaranarayanan recently signed, there will be 16% reservation for Marathas and 5% for Muslims in government-run schools/colleges, and jobs. Sources said the state will soon issue a government resolution after which the reservation will come into effect.

President of Shiv Sangram Vinayak Mete told dna that the state government is dilly-dallying in issuing the GR. "Unless and until the GR is issued, Maratha community won't get the benefits. Engineering and medical college admissions have started. If the government issues the GR, thousands of poor students will get the benefit of reservation from this year itself. The state needs to be more sensible and serious in this matter," Mete said.

Interestingly, the ordinance will remain in effect only for a year. After that, the governor must either issue a fresh ordinance or approve it in the state legislature assembly session. And with the state assembly election scheduled in October, the new government will have to take a decision in the matter.

"The incumbent government has thrown the ball in the new government's court. This shows it's not interested giving quota to Marathas and Muslims smoothly. It has just taken this decision because of political compulsion," said Liladhar Patil, president of Sambhaji Brigade, North Maharashtra Unit.

Patil said if the state was really serious about giving reservation to Marathas, it would have accepted the Rane committee report before the state budget session. "And the state cabinet's decision of reservation would have been brought in Bill format to make it a law," he added.

"It is discouraging that the CM and other ministers, who belong to the Maratha community, are not interested in giving reservation to their own people who are in a dire state. They just want to use them for election purpose."

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