Support Maratha, Muslim quota demands: Athawale

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 2 August 2018

He says demands by Marathas are justified but they should protest peacefully

Pune: Speaking at a programme of the Muslim community in the city on Tuesday, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale, said that he supports the demand for the Maratha reservations and he also made a case for Muslim quota. He has been openly supportive of the reservation demand by the Maratha community.

Athawale said, “I am fully in support of the demand to provide reservations to the Maratha community. But if the reservations are to be provided, there are many Constitutional procedures to be followed. The State government has made a provision of 16 per cent reservations for Marathas, but I don’t know how it will stand in the court of law.” 

He further said, “Because the Bombay High Court put a stay on the Act as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court. The only solution is to make a law in the Parliament and I am following it up with the Prime Minister for passing such a law.”

“I have put forward this demand twice in NDA meetings. All parties must come together in cooperation as this is related to the Marathas in Maharashtra, the Patidars in Gujarat, Jats in Haryana, Rajputs in Rajasthan and Thakurs in UP,” Athawale said.

“They need the protection of reservation, but without harming the SC/ST reservations,” he further added. 

“The demands of Marathas are justified and they should continue their protest without getting impatient and should avoid the violence that is taking place. Last time, there were protest rallies of lakhs of people in many cities, but they were well disciplined. We are all with the Maratha community and they should be assured about it,” the minister said. “At the same time, the Muslim community also needs to be given a quota for the underprivileged members. It is important to maintain Hindu-Muslim harmony in the country,” he further added.

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