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Din in Assembly over Oppn's demand for tabling report on Maratha quota

PTI mumbai India
Updated: 26-11-2018 14:48 IST

Noisy scenes were witnessed in the Maharashtra Assembly on Monday with the Opposition demanding that the government table the State Backward Class Commission's report on Maratha quota and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' (TISS) report on Dhangar reservation.

The House had to be adjourned four times; first for 10 minutes, then till the end of Question Hour and later twice for 15 minutes each following the uproar.

When the House reassembled after the end of Question Hour, Opposition members squatted on the floor of the House to protest against the passage of some supplementary demands amid the din.

Earlier, when Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde called for the Question Hour, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil asked why the government was running away from a debate in the House on the State Backward Class Commission's recommendations over the Maratha quota issue.

"We want to discuss the quota issue. What do we discuss if we don't know what is mentioned in the report?" he asked.

The Maharashtra government had last week announced that the Maratha community will be granted quota under a new category called 'Socially and Educationally Backward Class' (SEBC), as per the recommendation of the State Backward Class Commission.

Vikhe Patil said the TISS had also submitted its report on quota for the Dhangar (shepherd) community and that the reservation for Muslims in education was upheld by the high court.

"We want the government to announce its stand on reservation for Muslims and table the reports on quota for Marathas and Dhangars in the House for discussion," he said.

He accused the government of not allowing Maratha organisations to hold protests in Mumbai over the demand for tabling the Backward Class Commission's report in the House.

"The House will not be allowed to function till the demand is met," Vikhe Patil said.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar also supported the Congress leader's demand.

However, state Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil rejected the allegation that the government was preventing Maratha organisations from holding protests.

"We just said that today is a sensitive day in Mumbai since it is the anniversary of the 26/11 terror attack. We told them to consider postponing the protest by a day in view of the law and order situation," Patil said.

He also said that there was no need of protests since the government had accepted the recommendations of providing reservation to Marathas under the socially and educationally backward category.

The reservation will be given within the legal and constitutional framework without hurting the existing quota, the minister said.

On the issue of quota for Muslims, he said reservation on the basis of religion given in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala did not stand in court.

"All backward communities among Muslims are given reservation under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category. If more castes need to be added, the State Backward Class Commission should be approached," he said.

Ajit Pawar objected to the minister's comments, saying the court had accepted reservation for Muslims in education.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashish Shelar then questioned why the Congress and the NCP had not tabled the Rane committee's report on Maratha reservation in the Assembly, when the two parties were in power.

He accused the two opposition parties of shedding "crocodile tears" over the issue.

"Their only agenda is to divide the society," Shelar charged.

Following the uproar, the House was first adjourned for 10 minutes and later till the end of the Question Hour.

When the House reassembled after the two adjournments, the Chair took up laying of annual report of the Maharashtra Forest Development Corporation and Maharashtra Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Science University in Nagpur.

The Public Accounts Committee's (PAC) report was also tabled.

Amid the noisy scenes, the Chair also rushed through the supplementary demands of revenue, forest, industries, energy, labour and public works departments.

The demands were passed by a voice vote and Minister of State for Urban Development Ranjit Patil later introduced the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation and Municipal Council, Nagar Panchayat and Industrial Township (Amendment) Bill.

A bill to amend the Drug and Cosmetics Act, 1940 was also introduced.

When the Chair asked Vikhe Patil to initiate a debate on the supplementary demands, he said the government must first clarify on reports over the quota issue before continuing with the proceedings.

As the uproar continues, the House was again adjourned for 15 minutes.

When the House assembled after the third adjournment, the opposition members squatted on its floor.

Jayant Patil (NCP) said they were protesting against the passage of supplementary demands in a hurry and demanded that they be withdrawn.

The opposition members wanted to discuss the demands, he said.

State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat then invited the opposition leaders for talks in the Speaker's chamber.

Later, Education Minister Vinod Tawde asked Ajit Pawar and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan to join the talks.

As the chaos continued, the Chair then again adjourned the House for another 15 minutes.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)