A day after the Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra announced a bill to provide five per cent reservation to Muslims in government educational institutions, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) lashed out at the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance labelling the bill as 'minority appeasement'. VHP Secretary General Milind Parande on Saturday said that he read in the reports that the Shiv Sena-led government has given 5 per cent reservation to Muslims in educational institutions which have been denied by many. However, he remarked that these kinds of news are 'worrisome'.
Furthermore, Parande added that such efforts by the Maharashtra government hint that they are moving towards minority appeasement and that the Hindu community expects the state government to not indulge in such efforts.
Earlier on Friday, former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis also slammed the Maha Vikas Aghadi Government over their announcement of 5% reservation for Muslims in schools and colleges. Fadnavis stated that it was extremely 'unconstitutional' to give reservations based on religion. Fadnavis also stated that the BJP will oppose this since there was no provision in the constitution of giving quota solely on the basis of religion.
Back in 2014, the Congress-NCP government had passed an ordinance granting a 5% quota to Muslims. However, soon after the BJP came to power in 2018, the BJP-Shiv Sena government ruled out reservations for Muslims on religious grounds citing various Supreme Court and high court rulings.
Even within the Maha Vikas Aghadi, rifts are reported over this decision. Senior Sena leader Eknath Shinde came out to reveal that no decision was taken yet on Muslim quota in Maharashtra contrary to the remarks of NCP's Nawab Malik affirming the 5% quota decision.
On Friday, in a massive development, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government announced in the 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 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. Even though 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.