The chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis shared a panel with Sarbananda Sonowal, the chief minister of Assam to discuss 'the synergy to surge.' Participating in the panel, Fadnavis extensively addressing Maratha and Muslim reservations, vote-bank politics, and regional versus state identity.
Fadvanis spoke about the approval of his party to provide the Maratha community with reservation.
He said, "The Maratha community was under the list of reservations when the Affirmative Action started in India. For the first time, Shahu Maharaj started the affirmative in India and he declared the communities who would get a reservation, one of them were the Marathas. Until 1960, this community was getting a reservation but with time and change of laws, they lost the status. Now for the last 25 years, they have been asking for a reservation," he said
"The SC has given a prescribed format if a community completes that it comes in the list of reservations. We sent their case to the Backward Class commission and they came out with a report, the law laid down by the SC is followed," he added.
Responding to the demands of Muslim reservation after the Maratha reservations, he said, "As far as the Muslim reservation is concerned, the Constitution has said that there cannot be a reservation on the basis of religion. The Constitution does not provide a reservation for the economically backward, but only for those communities who are socially and educationally backward and there has to be a history of backwardness."
"We are not against any community, if the Constitution allows reservation for Muslims, then we are bound by the Constitution. In our state too, certain caste have been given the status of OBC, some of them are Muslims, and are still included. It's not me or the politics but the law of the land that decides. And it's not about appeasement but Constitution."
The chief minister also weighed on the idea of regional identity versus national identity during the discussion, he said, "I am not against national parties, the regional identities needs to be reserved, but national identity should always take a center stage. Between regional identity and national identity, national identity should win."
Sharing his thoughts on illegal immigration, vote-bank politics in West Bengal and chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Fadvanis said, "Let's talk about the national registry for citizens in Bengal. Now, why is Mamata didi opposing that? Its because of a very myopic vote-bank politics. All those who have migrated, she speaks for them and they vote for her. She has ensured that each one of them have entered a voting role and now they have become vote-bank. On their vote, you can even win the elections, but what happens to national security?"
"They (illegal immigrants) have no ownership or love for this country. They are from Bangladesh, they come here for jobs and at the end they end up into the hands of anti-national people. For such national issues, we should have consensus irrespective of political inclinations," he added.