Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil Tuesday called on Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and sought his party's support for the Maratha reservation Bill.
Patil, a senior BJP leader, met Thackeray at the latter's residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra as part of the government's efforts to drum up support for the Bill in the legislature that is currently having its winter session in Mumbai.
The minister said Thackeray has assured the support of his party, a member of the BJP-led ruling coalition in the state, for the Bill that the government proposes to bring to pay the way for quota for the Marathas in jobs and education.
Speaking to reporters after an hour-long discussion with Thackeray, Patil said he has been meeting with state chiefs of all political parties to seek their support for the Bill.
"I've met (state Congress chief) Ashok Chavan and (NCP president) Sharad Pawar in the last few days. I, therefore, mer Uddhav Thackeray today and spoke about the Maratha reservation Bill.
"I have asked for his support for the Bill and he has assured me of his party's support," Patil said.
He added that the BJP-led government was committed to providing reservation to the Maratha community.
Meanwhile, a Sena source said Thackeray has assured the senior BJP leader of his support to the Bill.
"Uddhav ji told Chandrakant Patil not to test the patience of the community and that the Bill should be such that it stands scrutiny of the courts," he said.
The source said Thackeray sought immediate enforcement of the Bill and asked the government to ensure the existing quota for various communities is not disturbed.
The Sena source said Thackeray also asked Patil to pursue with the Centre the demand of the Dhangars for quota and resolve the grievances of other communities.
The Dhangar (shepherd) community has been pressing for reservation under the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category.
Patil had Monday said the government will introduce the Bill Thursday to provide reservation to the Maratha community in jobs and educational institutes under the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category.
However, Tribal Development Minister Vishnu Savara said Tuesday the cabinet sub-committee working on the Maratha quota Bill wants to ensure it stands legal scrutiny and that it was yet to finalise the quantum of reservation.
He said there was a "possibility" that the Bill could be introduced in the assembly Wednesday itself.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)