Chairing a high-level meeting on Friday, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray asserted that the state government will not backtrack from ensuring justice for the Maratha community. This comes two days after the Supreme Court ordered a stay on the Maratha reservation. Maintaining that this was everyone's fight, he assured that all stakeholders will be taken into confidence on the Maharashtra government's future course of action.
Moreover, Thackeray revealed that discussions will be held with the leader of the opposition party as well. He reiterated his government's commitment to resolving this issue. At the same time, he warned that attempts to provoke the Maratha community for political mileage will not be tolerated.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray held a high-level meeting today, after the Supreme Court stayed Maratha reservation in the state pic.twitter.com/THjELIy2lr— ANI (@ANI) September 11, 2020
मराठा समाजाच्या न्याय हक्काच्या मागणीसाठी सरकार तसूभरही मागे हटणार नाही. हा लढा आपल्या सर्वांचा आहे. समाजाला न्याय मिळवून देण्यासाठी जे जे काही करता येईल ते सर्व करू. यासंदर्भात आम्ही सर्व संबंधितांनाही विश्वासात घेऊन, त्यांच्या सूचनांचा विचार करणार आहोत.— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) September 11, 2020
In the SEBC Act which came into force on November 30, 2018, the Maratha community has been declared as a 'Socially and Educational Backward Class'. The Bombay HC judgment reduced the quantum of Maratha reservation to 12% in educational institutions and 13% in public employment. On Wednesday, the apex court bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat prima facie held that the Maharashtra government has not shown any "extraordinary situation" for providing reservation to the Marathas.
Maintaining that the 50% reservation ceiling could be relaxed only in extraordinary situations, it added that the Maratha community comprising 30% of Maharashtra's population could not be compared to the marginalized sections of society living in remote areas of the state. Moreover, the SC prima facie observed that the Bombay High Court had committed an error in treating certain circumstances as "extraordinary", justifying the relaxation of the reservation ceiling. The bench also said that the implementation of the SEBC Act for admissions and appointments during the pendency of the appeals will cause "irreparable loss" to the candidates belonging to the open category.
Post the SC verdict, Fadnavis expressed his anguish at the lackadaisical attitude of the Maharashtra government. He contended that the state government could have succeeded in the legal battle if it had taken the opposition into confidence. The BJP leader lamented that the Backward Classes Commission had not been constituted in the last 7 months despite his repeated pleas. Earlier in the day, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's descendant and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Udayanraje Bhonsle insisted that the Uddhav Thackeray-led government should bring in an ordinance to override the apex court order.