In 2008, the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission had declared Maratha community an economically and politically a forward caste.
The Maratha Reservation stir has hit entire Maharashtra. The demand for reservation for the community has put the state government in a fix. The main goal of the Maratha quota stir is to secure a certain percentage of reservation in Education and Government Jobs. Broadly, the Maratha Quota agitation can be identified with Patidar reservation demand.
Like Patidar community, Maratha community holds constitutes a significant percentage of Maharashtra’s population and is electorally significant. The dominance of Marathas in Maharashtrian politics can be understood by the sheer number of Chief Ministers from the community. Right from Maharashtra’s first Chief Minister Yashvantrao Chavhan to Prithviraj Chavan, as many as 11 Chief Ministers were from the Maratha community. The powerful community stands 32% of the entire population of Maharashtra and dominates 80% of the total 288 assembly seats in the state.
In 2003-04, National Commission for Backward Classes didn’t approve OBC status for Marathas. Even in 2008, the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission had declared Marathas economically and politically a forward caste. However, with OBC already having 27% of reservation, the total amount of reservation has gone up to 49%. Granting reservation to the Marathas will violate Supreme Court ruling putting 50% cap on the reservation.
So, is the demand of reservation by Marathas really fair? HW News brings you reactions from experts and across the party lines.
Vinod Patil, Maratha Kranti Morcha Leader:
“We are in search of a way and today luckily there is a petition before the honorable high court of Mumbai regarding the Maratha reservation. We only believe in the judiciary now because the government has failed to deliver justice to us and fulfill our demands till date. Now we only hope that the honorable court will give us justice and provide us what our rights are.”
Gajanan Kirtikar, Shiv Sena MP:
“Yes, it is absolutely a fair demand. Now we can only wait for how it can be technically and legally suited which is baffling everyone now at this juncture. The demand for a reservation for Marathas has been for many years now, there have also been legal obstacles that beyond 52% can’t be provided which is supreme court direction, we need to understand it well to overcome this difficulty. All the political parties are supporting this demand and so am I.”
Nawab Malik, NCP:
“We have always been in support of the move. We think it is a fair demand so we have taken the decision to support the reservation demanded by Marathas. The government in power has given an assurance to them that they will deliver what the sitting government has promised. In this country, those communities who are deprived of a quality life, rights that they are endowed with should be legally theirs.”
Ashok Chavan, MPCC President:
“The Congress party has always supported this stand and this particular decision on Maratha reservation has been ideated ever since Congress regime in the state but was not implemented pertaining to some legal issue through our stand is consistent and we support the reservation for Maratha’s, without disturbing other communities’ reservations at present.”