After Maratha quota nod, Muslim body demands reinstatement of quota
A day after the Maharashtra legislature cleared a Maratha quota bill, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) said Friday that it would move the high court for reinstatement of quota for Muslims.
The previous Congress-NCP government had provided a five per cent quota to Muslims along with a 16 per cent quota for Marathas in Maharashtra.
AIMIM MLA Imtiyaz Jaleel told reporters at the legislature complex here that his party was not opposed to reservation for the Maratha community, however, the same yardstick should be applied to the Muslims as well.
"The only option before us now is moving the court because we haven't got justice from this government. We are not asking for reservation based on caste but on the basis of social, educational and economic backwardness," he said.
While the BJP-led government introduced a bill providing quota for the Marathas on the basis of a report of the State Backward Class Commission (SBCC), three government-appointed committees -- Sachhar Commission, Ranganath Mishra Commission and Mehmood Rehman commission -- had recommended quota for Muslims, Jaleel said.
He also expressed doubt about veracity of the SBCC's report, asking how was it "logically possible" that 93 per cent of Marathas have annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh, as stated in the report.
The Maharashtra legislature on Thursday unanimously passed a bill giving 16 per cent reservation in jobs and education to the Marathas over and above the existing 52 per cent reservation for other communities.
The earlier Congress-NCP government, led by Prithviraj Chavan, had provided reservation to both Marathas and Muslims before the 2014 Assembly polls by issuing an ordinance, which was stayed by the Bombay High Court.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil demanded Friday that the government reinstate the five per cent quota for the Muslims.
Even the high court had upheld it in view of the community's backwardness, but "the present government does not want to do justice to Muslims," the Congress leader alleged.
Prithviraj Chavan pointed out that the high court stayed reservation for Muslim in jobs but not in education, and poorer sections of the community should get educational opportunities. "There is a strong case for issuing an ordinance," he said.
Earlier in the day, speaking in the Assembly, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said those who believe there are castes among Muslims which deserve reservation could approach the SBCC and request a survey, which will be binding on the government.
(With inputs from agencies.)