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M’rashtra alliance parties differ on Muslim quota, NPR

Mumbai, March 3 (IANS) Maharashtra’s three ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi allies appeared to sing different notes on the issue of NPR and the proposed five per cent quota for backward class Muslims in education, here on Tuesday.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced that senior leaders of the MVA coordination committee will examine all aspects of the NPR before taking any decision in the matter.

“I will not allow anybody to snatch the rights of any citizens of Maharashtra. I am absolutely clear on this,” said Thackeray on the issue on which the other allies have been clamouring for a resolution in the legislature.

On the proposed 5 per cent quota for backward Muslims in education, Thackeray said no such proposal has been received by him yet, but he would take a decision on it as and when it comes.

Last week Nationalist Congress Party’s Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik had announced in the legislature of the government’s plans to give the 5 per cent quotas to backward Muslims which sparked off a political backlash from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and others.

Malik had announced that an ordinance would be brought soon for the purpose after examining all aspects including the Constitutional provisions and try to implement it from the next academic year.

Congress state President Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that while the party is committed to giving the Muslims quotas, also admitted that the issue has not yet been discussed by the MVA coordination committee.

Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis attacked the government for the move terming it as “appeasing the Muslims” and argued that it would be the death knell for the OBC reservations from which the Muslim quota will be carved out.

Senior Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari on Monday sought the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s intervention to restrain the BJP and others trying to sabotage the MVA’s proposal to extend the 5 per cent education quota to backward Muslims, which was also upheld by the Bombay High Court earlier.

–IANS

qn/kr

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