“The government will complete all legal formalities to grant Maratha reservation in jobs and education by November and stay on the state’s mega recruitment drive for 72,000 government jobs until a decision on the Maratha reservation is taken”, says CM Devendra Fadanvis.
After the Maratha agitation had taken a violent turn following the death of a youth on July 23 and suicide on Sunday, 28-year-old Ananta Levade, who was unemployed, set himself on fire in village Digraswadi in Parbhani, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday addressed the community via state television and radio. “The state government was committed to providing reservation to the community, and all legal formalities will be completed by November-end. The State Backward Class Commission constituted by the state government has been asked to submit its report as early as possible”.
The chief minister added: “The Bombay high court to has asked the commission to inform them by August 7 about when they will submit the report, after which a time-bound programme can be made to complete all legal procedures.”
In July, the MSBCC (Maharashtra State Backward Class Community), headed by a retired judge, had conveyed to the state government that it would need another four months to submit its report. Fadnavis said in his speech that his government had requested the commission to expedite the submission while adding that since the MSBCC was a statutory body, it could not be “pressured”. The panel was in the process of collecting “quantifiable” data on the economic backwardness of the community. About 1.86 lakh evidence and data have been collected.”
Talking of the planned ‘mega recruitment drive’ for 72,000 jobs, the CM assured that “no injustice” would be done to youth from the Maratha community. The MKM has demanded that this recruitment stay till the reservation issue has been resolved.
“This is not the first time the state government has declared a deadline for giving reservation. They have never stuck to those deadlines,” MKM ( Maratha Kranti Morcha ) state coordinator Nanasaheb Kute Patil said, adding that they would decide on Fadnavis’s offer for a dialogue in a day or two. “Our problem has been that they (the government) invite people affiliated to them or their leaders for a dialogue,” he said.
In an article Madhav Godbole former home secretary and secretary, justice, the government of India writes that,
Maratha reservation is a Pandora’s box. Once it is opened, India will have to be ready to face a number of unpalatable, unsavoury questions, not just in Maharashtra but all over the country. At least four dominant castes – Gujjars, Patidars, Jats and Marathas – are insisting on reservations. The ensuing caste wars will raise existential questions for India which is already faced with drummed up opposition to the National Register for Citizens in Assam, the spectre of Lynchistan that India has become and the perceptibly widening communal divide. Is India ready for it?