Speaking on the big announcement by the Maha Vikas Aghadi government to give 5% reservations for Muslims in education, Samajwadi Party's Abu Azmi lauded the Maharashtra Government, stating that this move would not only benefit the Muslims but the country as a whole. "Today, people say that Muslims are backward, the truth is that education has become so expensive. This reservation will prove as a great benefit for the Muslims who could not afford education," said Abu Azmi.
"Reservation on the basis of religion is not wrong. The High Court permits 5%. At least give the initial 5% for education and then later on another 5% will be given for jobs. This will not only help in the progress of the Muslims. But the country. This should be done for the benefit of the country," added Abu Azmi.
On Friday, in a massive development, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has announced in Maharashtra Legislative Council a 5% reservation 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 passage 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.