Taking a U-turn over Muslim reservation, Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Saturday said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra works according to the Common Minimum Programme. Earlier on Friday, shortly after NCP leader and his cabinet colleague, Nawab Malik stated that the Maharashtra government will provide five per cent quota to Muslims, Shinde has said that no such decision had been taken.
Speaking to the media, Shinde said, "We have got information that in our government, Minister Nawab Malik has raised the matter of Muslim reservation, our government runs with everyone, we are working according to our common minimum program."
Commenting on the same, Congress leader and Maharashtra Minister Ashok Chavan said, "Maratha reservation will not be a problem due to Muslim reservation."
Leaders of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) -- which comprises Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress -- will take a call on the issue after discussions, Shinde, Urban Development Minister, and a senior Sena leader said on Friday. Earlier, Malik, who is the Minority Affairs Minister, had announced in the Legislative Council that the government had proposed to provide five per cent reservation to Muslims in educational institutes. Shinde told reporters outside the legislature complex that he was not aware of the announcement.
"Leaders of the MVA will together take a call on policy decisions about giving reservations to any community. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will take appropriate decisions at the appropriate time. No decision has been taken yet," he said.
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 reservations in educational institutions for Muslims but rejected quota in jobs in 2014 when it struck down the Congress-NCP's ordinance.