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Maratha Reservation Bill Passes; Reservation extended by 10%

The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (lower house) unanimously passed the Maratha Reservation Bill, which sought to increase Marathas’ reservation by 10% above the 50% threshold. The CM will now table the bill before the Legislative Council for assent, following which it will become law. Vijay Wadettiwar, Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, stated that […]

Eknath Shinde Government Approved The Bill For Maratha Reservation
Eknath Shinde Government Approved The Bill For Maratha Reservation

The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (lower house) unanimously passed the Maratha Reservation Bill, which sought to increase Marathas’ reservation by 10% above the 50% threshold. The CM will now table the bill before the Legislative Council for assent, following which it will become law.

Vijay Wadettiwar, Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, stated that the opposition parties had the same view that the Maratha community should be allowed reservation.

The state government has called a one-day extraordinary session of the state legislature to table and further discuss this special Bill.

The bill for the 10% Maratha quota, which the Mahayuti government of Eknath Shinde adopted on Tuesday, is similar to the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018, introduced by the then-Devendra Fadnavis government.

This is the third time in a decade that the state has introduced laws on the Maratha quota.

“I am the CM of the state and I work with the blessings of all. We don’t think on the basis of caste or religion. If such a situation comes with any other community, my stand as CM will be similar to what is my stand for the Maratha community. Our PM always says Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas,” Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said.

“We all are of similar views here on the Maratha reservation so I will not make may political statement here. With the co-operation of you all, we could do it. I kept my promise which I made to the Maratha community. I thank all my colleagues including my both DCMs and other ministers. Today is a day of fulfillment of our promises,” Shinde added after tabling the bill.

“Our aim was to work on a war footing, day and night, to bring this issue to a proper conclusion. The Maharashtra government is fully committed to giving reservation to the Marathas and today we are doing this. Devendra ji and Ajit Pawar ji always used to tell me that by whatever means we have to give reservation to the Maratha community. Devendra ji had once given reservation to the Maratha community while being the Chief Minister and that reservation was also upheld in the High Court. But unfortunately for some reason it was struck down by the honorable Supreme Court” the CM further stated.

“Therefore, this time we have reconstituted the Backward Classes Commission and conducted a survey as per the order of the Supreme Court and after collecting the necessary data, we are now planning to give them reservation. We have tried to fulfil the rules and regulations in every way and now we are ready to give this reservation,” he added.

Manoj Jarange Patil, a Maratha quota campaigner who is on hunger strike in Antarwali Saarati hamlet in Jalna district, inspired the decision to call a special session. His demands include Kunbi credentials for all Marathas, free education from kindergarten to postgraduate level, and reservation of seats in government job recruitments.
The reservation was expanded based on a report made to the state government by the Maharashtra Backward Class Commission (MBCC), chaired by Justice (Retired) Sunil Shukre.

The state already has a 10% quota for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS), with the Marathas receiving approximately 85% of it.
The Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission on Friday filed a report on the social and educational backwardness of the Maratha group, for which it conducted a survey of around 2.5 crore homes in nine days.

The committee advocated a 10% quota for Marathas in education and jobs, which was identical to the last law introduced by the state government in 2018.
In June 2017, the then-Devendra Fadnavis administration established the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC), led by Justice (retired) MG Gaikwad, to investigate the Maratha community’s social, economical, and educational situation.
The Commission issued its report in November 2018, categorizing Marathas as a socially and educationally backward class (SEBC).

On May 5, 2021, the Supreme Court struck down reservations for the Maratha community in colleges, higher education institutions, and jobs, stating that there was no good reason to violate 50% reservation while giving Maratha reservation.

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Devendra FadnavisEknath ShindeMaharashtra Legislative AssemblyMaratha ReservationVijay Wadettiwar