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Cong, NCP adopt strident posture on Maratha quota; meet Guv


Press Trust of India Mumbai
Accusing the Maharashtra government of dilly-dallying on the issue of quota for Maratha and some other communities, the Congress and NCP today sought Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao's immediate intervention in the matter.
A senior state Congress leader said some of his party's legislators are mulling resigning from the Assembly to force the government to take a quick decision on the issue.
In separate meetings with Rao at Raj Bhavan here today, delegations of the parties asked him to instruct the government to announce its decisions on reservations for Marathas, Muslim, Dhangar and Mahadev Koli communities.
They insisted that Marathas be allotted quota, without touching the existing 52 per cent quota given to SCs, STs and other backward classes.
In a memorandum submitted to the Governor, the NCP pitched for the government to recommend Constitutional amendment to give 16 per cent reservation to Marathas.
The two parties also asked Rao to instruct the government to withdraw cases filed against "innocent" Maratha protesters.
Leaders of these opposition parties also separately met Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission chairman Justice (retired) M G Gaikwad to convey their concerns over the issue.
At a meeting here, some Congress legislators expressed "readiness" to resign over the issue of Maratha reservation, a party leader said. Asked about this, Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan said no decision has been taken on the issue yet.
"The position of the BJP and the Shiv Sena over quota is vague. Therefore, no concrete decision has been taken on reservations to Marathas, Muslim, Dhangar, Mahadev Koli and Lingayat communities. The government wants to keep these issues pending," the Congress said in a memorandum to the Governor.
Chavan led the delegation which comprised Opposition Leader in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan among others.
The government is citing the "excuse" of the Maratha quota issue being sub judice to delay a decision, a Congress leader said. It is also not implementing the previous Congress-NCP government's decision to give five per cent reservation to Muslims in education, he added.
"There is a sentiment that the government's excuse of the Maratha quota matter being sub judice is mere eyewash," the memorandum said.
The Congress charged the government with "hoodwinking" these communities. The absence of any decision has threatened peace and communal harmony in the state, the party said.
"In such a scenario, we request you to intervene and instruct the government to declare its decisions regarding reservations of these communities without any delay," it said.
The NCP charged Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and some ministers with "infuriating" Marathas after they decided to protest in temple town of Pandharpur on July 23, on the day of Ashadhi Ekadashi.
Fadnavis had talked about the government having inputs on possibility of some people creating disturbances when lakhs of people throng Pandharpur on the occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi.
"Their statements caused the agitation to turn aggressive," the memorandum submitted by NCP leaders including Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal and Dhananjay Munde said.

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First Published: Jul 30 2018 | 8:45 PM IST

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