Maharashtra assembly passes bill giving 16% reservation for Marathas

The Maharashtra assembly has unanimously passed bill giving 16 per cent reservation for Marathas under the socially and educationally backward category.

The bill has now gone to the Upper House.

The Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government had, earlier in the day, proposed 16 per cent quota for the Maratha community in jobs and education.

The introduction of the bill was preceded by the action taken report (ATR) on the State Backward Class Commission’s recommendations for Maratha quota before the end of the winter session, a government source told PTI.

Speaking in the state assembly on Thursday, Chief Minister Fadnavis said, “We’ve completed a due procedure for Maratha reservation report and we’re bringing a bill today.”

The draft bill for it, based on recommendations of the report, which was circulated along with the ATR copies, said the government felt 16 per cent reservation to Marathas was “justified”.

Along with the ATR, Fadnavis tabled the conclusion and final recommendations of the SBCC’s report on social, educational and financial status of the Maratha community.

Soon after the House assembled for the day and Speaker Haribhau Bagde called for the Question Hour, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar questioned why the Maratha quota Bill was not listed in the day’s business, as promised.

Pawar said since the previous Congress-NCP government had introduced the bill, “we have an experience about what could have gone wrong that the (high) court stayed our decision.”

The Maharashtra chief minister had earlier hinted at the government’s decision to table the Maratha reservation bill in the state assembly.

Addressing a gathering in Ahmednagar, he had said: “I request all of you to prepare to celebrate on December 1.”

The government had earlier said that the bill pertaining to Maratha quota would be introduced in the state Legislature on November 29.

The Maratha community, which constitutes over 30 per cent of the state’s population, has been demanding reservation in government jobs and education for a long time. A cabinet sub-committee chaired by Patil has been holding marathon meetings to prepare the draft bill.

The community’s agitation for the same in July and August this year had taken a violent turn.

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