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Maharashtra passes Bill, giving 16% reservations to the Marathas


The Maratha reservation bill was unanimously passed in the in the Maharashtra legislature on Thursday granting 16% reservations to the Marathas and thus taking the total quota in the state of more than 60%.

The Fadnavis government proposed a 16% reservation for the Maratha community in jobs and educational institutions on Thursday. Earlier in the day the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) issued whips to their respective members directing them to be present in their respective houses – legislative assembly and legislative council, in view of the tabling of the Maratha Reservation Bill.

On November 18, the Maharashtra government approved the Maratha Reservation Bill, for which the community has been protesting since 2017. The demand for reservations had turned violent earlier this year when several protests across the state.

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Once the Bill is passed in the Assembly and notified, the Marathas will be entitled to reservation in government jobs and admissions in government institutions in the state.

Earlier, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that as per the recommendation of the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission, the state government will give independent reservation to the people belonging to the Maratha community under a category called Socially and Economically Backwards or SEBC.

Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission had submitted its report in the matter to Chief Secretary D K Jain on November 15.

The Maharashtra State Backward Classes Commission had suggested a 16 percent reservation for the Maratha community, stating that the community is socially and economically backwards. The Maratha community accounts for 33 percent of the state’s total population.

Earlier on August 9, 2018, around 194 people were detained for rioting and arson after a protest, seeking the reservation for the Maratha community, turned violent.

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In 2014, the then Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government had announced 16 percent reservation for Marathas and five percent reservation for the Muslims. However, the Bombay High Court stayed the decision in response to a PIL.

On Tuesday Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the reservation for Maratha community in the government jobs and admission in public sector academic institutions would not have any adverse impact on the state’s existing quota policy.

“Without disturbing 52 per cent reservation we have for the state’s OBCs, SCs and STs, we will give reservation to the Maratha community. Our government is committed to this,” said Chief Minister Fadnavis amid uproar in the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday.

Lashing out at the opposition over the reservation issue, Fadnavis asked why the previous government did not give scholarships to Muslim students. “The opposition is dividing the people and they are doing politics on the reservation. They are talking about Muslim reservation for the sake of vote bank politics,” he claimed.

(with ANI inputs)

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