The Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM) has decided to hold an indefinite protest against the state government’s decision to accommodate the quota for Maratha community in the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category.
The MKM, which was at the forefront of Maratha reservation, believes that the move will have “serious” consequences. Earlier this week, the Maharashtra government passed a resolution in the cabinet giving consent for reservation under EWS to those eligible under SEBC. The decision was aimed at defusing the unrest by providing them reservation alternative in EWS. This was necessitated following the Supreme Court’s September order to stay Maratha reservation under SEBC. The SC also directed the matter be referred to a larger Constitutional Bench for final verdict.
MKM chief coordinator Rajendra Kondhare said, “The MKM held protests across the state. We are talking to people through corner meetings to explain the serious ramifications of reservation under EWS category.”
Expressing disappointment, Kondhare said, “The Maratha reservation under Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) was adopted unanimously by the state government through an Act in the Assembly and Council. It had the consent of all political parties including then ruling BJP-Shiv Sena and opposition Congress, NCP.”
The decision for Maratha reservation under SEBC category was based on recommendations made by the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission, and thus had both legal and constitutional sanctity, he said.
The MKM feels the state cabinet sub-committee headed by Ashok Chavan has betrayed the community, Kondhare said.
The SC stay on the quota immediately left in limbo students who had hoped to avail the reservation.The government has been under pressure to find a way forward. The 10 per cent EWS category was seen as an alternative.
BJP MP Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje said, “The state government’s decision on EWS will spoil the case for inlcusion of the quota in SEBC category…”