Shortly after NCP leader and his cabinet colleague Nawab Malik stated that the Maharashtra government will provide a 5% quota to the Muslim community, senior minister Eknath Shinde said no such decision had been taken. Previously, Nawab Malik, the Minority Affairs Minister, had announced in the Legislative Council that the government had proposed to provide a 5% reservation to Muslims in educational institutes.
Leaders of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) -- which comprises Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress, will make a decision on the issue after discussions, Shinde, Urban Development Minister and a senior Shiv Sena leader, said. "Leaders of the MVA will together take a call on policy decisionsabout giving reservation to any community. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will take appropriate decisions at the appropriate time. No decision has been taken yet," the Shiv Sena leader said. Furthermore, Shinde told reporters outside the legislature complex that he as unaware of the announcement.
Shortly, opining on the reservation quota, BJP National Vice President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, speaking to Republic alleged that the decision was taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government to harness "vote-bank politics," and recalled that similar cases have been rejected even by the Supreme court, as the religion-based quota is 'unconstitutional'.
On Friday, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has announced in Maharashtra Legislative Council a 5% reservations for Muslims in school and colleges. State minister for minority affairs, Nawab Malik in response to Congress legislator Sharad Ranpise said in the Council that a bill will be introduced and the government will ensure its smooth passage. Malik added that action will be taken to ensure the passade before the beginning of the admissions for the academic year.
Earlier in January, Malik had confirmed that the move was in talks since the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) but had not been finalised yet. In spite of reservation in Maharashtra breaching 70%, sources on January 31, reported that the Thackeray-led Aghadi government is preparing to introduce a Muslim-based reservation in the state. Incidentally, a Muslim reservation was mentioned in Congress and NCP's manifesto.
The previous Congress-NCP government had passed an ordinance granting a 5% quota to Muslims in 2014, as per reports. But in 2018, the BJP-Shiv Sena government ruled out reservations for Muslims on religious grounds citing various Supreme Court and high court rulings. Then CM Fadnavis had reportedly said that the Bombay high court had upheld reservation in educational institutions for Muslims but rejected quota in jobs in 2014 when it struck down the Congress-NCP's ordinance.