Mumbai: Finally, the State government has agreed to hold a special Assembly session to discuss the Maratha reservation issue. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Saturday that the government is going to request the Backward Class Commission to submit its report at the earliest and then the session will be held.
In an attempt to put an end to the ongoing Maratha reservation row, Devendra Fadnavis had called an all-party meeting on Saturday at Vidhan Bhavan.
Fadnavis appealed for peace in the state, rocked by violent protests over the quota issue this week, and announced the withdrawal of certain cases against the members of the community, seeking a 16-per cent reservation in government jobs and education.
Speaking to reporters after chairing an all-party meeting on the quota issue, Fadnavis said the special session of the house will be held after the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission submits its report to the State government.
The commission, headed by Justice (Retired) MG Gaikwad, is carrying out a survey to ascertain economic and social backwardness prevailing among Marathas, a land-owning community that constitutes 30 per cent of the state’s population. The panel is expected to submit its report in four months.
According to the chief minister, all parties have the same opinion on the Maratha reservation issue and the government has decided to take a unanimous decision on the matter.
“If a college does not admit Maratha students by charging 50 per cent fees (as part of the fee-waiver scheme), it will be de-recognised. We are willing to talk to the colleges if they face any difficulties,” CM Fadnavis said.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers led by Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil met the Chairman of the Backward Class Commission on Friday with a demand to submit the report on the backwardness of the Maratha community at the earliest.
A letter was submitted to Chairman Justice (Retd) Gaikwad. The letter says that the government is committed to extending the reservation to the Marathas, but the government cannot take the decision as the matter is pending with the Bombay High Court.
The commission report holds importance as it was specifically asked to submit evidence of social and economic backwardness of the Marathas and it will be submitted to the HC, which has stayed the 16 per cent reservation for them.