Mumbai, July 31 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday made it clear that the state government is committed to giving job and academic reservations to the agitating Maratha community but only if it stands legal scrutiny.
“If it’s a matter of only giving reservations, we can promulgate an ordinance today, but it will be dismissed by the courts. We have to complete all the legal formalities before it can be properly resolved,” Fadnavis said.
He pointed out it was the present Bharatiya Janata Party-led government which first initiated the process for Maratha reservations, but it was stayed by the Bombay High Court.
“If anyone gives reservations to the Maratha community, it will be our government. We are honestly committed to this,” he declared, while speaking at a book release function here.
His comments came a day after the clamour by its ally Shiv Sena and various opposition parties to immediately declare the Maratha reservations without waiting for the report of the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC) in this regard.
An Opposition leader said on Monday the MSBCC has indicated that its survey report on the economic conditions of the Maratha community would be ready only within three months.
Fadnavis said the Maratha reservations can only be given without affecting the existing quotas for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes so that it is sustainable and passes the legal test.
The Chief Minister said it would be unwise to get carried away by emotions and announce any quotas that would fail to clear the legal evaluation, and would not survive even a day.
“The MSBCC has been requested to submit its report on priority and we have also planned to convene a Special Session of the Legislature to work out a solution. The Maratha community must maintain peace and restraint,” Fadnavis urged.
His comments came even as various Maratha groups have threatened to launch a state-wide ‘jail-bharo’ agitation on Wednesday (August 1) including in Mumbai, followed by massive processions all over Maharashtra on August 9, the August Kranti Day, to press for quotas.
Since the past nearly 10 days, the state, including Mumbai, has been rocked by violent agitations with incidents of arson, road and rail blockades, attacks on police with retaliatory action, spearheaded by Maratha groups seeking reservations.