Maharashtra Minority Development Minister Nawab Malik on Monday rubbished rumours of having differences in Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition concerning the 5 per cent Muslim quota in educational institutions adding that all three parties of the coalition are one on this issue.
NCP's Nawab Malik said: “The Bombay High Court has given nod to reservation to Muslims in common educational institutions, but the previous government has done nothing. We have given assurance on the floor of the House that we will go ahead. There is a consensus on this issue in the Common Minimum Program. Somebody is trying to spread confusion about us having differences. All three parties have consensus on this subject. We will definitely discuss this further with the Chief Minister and get a Cabinet nod.”
The Maharashtra minister cited the Bombay High Court's judgement of providing 5 per cent reservation to Muslims in education.
In November 2014, Bombay HC had upheld NCP-Congress government’s ordinance to provide 5 per cent reservation in state-owned or aided educational institutions while disapproving 16 percent quota to Marathas in government jobs and educational institution and 5 percent quotas to Muslims in government jobs.
Citing the Sachar Committee report, Malik stated that if the needy can get an opportunity to pursue education, this shouldn’t be viewed through the prism of religion. Furthermore, he mentioned that the country would lag behind if the Muslim community failed to progress on the economic, social and educational front.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had formed Sachar Committee in 2005 to study the social, economic and educational condition of Muslims in India. The committee had submitted its report in 2006 which had suggestions and solutions for the inclusive development of the Muslims in India.
However, Gujarat government in 2013 contended before the Supreme Court that the report was considered unconstitutional and it only sought to survey the socio-economic conditions of Muslims while ignoring other religious minorities.