Maratha quota: Cannot welcome SC verdict, says Uddhav Thackeray


‘We now request the President and Prime Minister with folded hands to take a decision and ensure reservation to the Maratha community,’ says the Maharashtra Chief Minister.

As the Supreme Court scrapped the Maharashtra government’s law giving reservation to the Maratha community in jobs and education, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said that he could not welcome the verdict as the court had scrapped the law “unanimously passed by the sovereign State legislature”.

“The court in its verdict has said that State has no right to give reservation and it stands only with Prime Minister and President. Since we have been guided by the apex court, we now request both with folded hands to take a decision and ensure reservation to the Maratha community,” said Mr. Thackeray.

He said that the Central governments in the past had been proactive in cases like Shahbano and Article 370 and, therefore, it was time to show urgency in the case of Maratha reservation also.

Also read: Explained | Why were Marathas granted reservation?

“Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje has been seeking appointment with Prime Minister for last one year on this issue but why hasn’t he be given the same? We cannot welcome this verdict which has given power to Prime Minister, but I appeal to the people to not spoil the atmosphere in Maharashtra using this verdict,” he said. Mr. Sambhajiraje was made Rajya Sabha MP by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and represents the lineage of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the warrior king.

Chavan blames Fadnavis

Public Works Department Minister Ashok Chavan, who headed the State Cabinet sub-committee on Maratha reservation, alleged that the previous Devendra Fadnavis government “misled the legislature” by bringing an Act despite having no authority to do so.

“The Supreme Court order clarifies that he had no right to do so. Fadnavis not only misled the legislature then but is now fooling the people by repeating that again,” said Mr. Chavan in a press conference held at Sahyadri official guest house.

Also read: Maratha reservation: A timeline of events

Mr. Chavan said that the State government did not even change the lawyers appointed by the previous BJP-led government to fight the case in the court. “There was absolutely no miscommunication. On the contrary, we brought all groups and organisations working on the issue together,” he said.

“The apex court has set aside the Gaikwad (Backward Commission) committee report and scrapped the law made by Devendra Fadnavis,” he reiterated.

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