The State unit of the BJP has decided to adopt a resolution supporting reservation for Marathas in government jobs and education institutions at its state executive conclave, which started in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The formal resolution – which is expected to be adopted on Thursday – states, “Marathas should be given 16 per cent reservation in education and employment sectors. The Maratha reservation would be independent and not clubbed within the existing quota of Other Backward Castes (OBCs). At the same time, the party also believes that while extending Maratha reservation, the Supreme court guidelines are also honoured.”
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The BJP’s resolution says that Maratha reservation should not, in any way, impact the exiting quota for Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The Marathas constitute 33 per cent of the state population and they are a politically dominant community in the state.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has appealed to BJP workers not to remain defensive on the controversial Maratha reservation. While saying that both the party and his government are committed to 16 per cent reservation for Marathas, Fadnavis told party workers to counter the Congress-NCP’s attack against the government and the party with a befitting reply on reservation politics.
Fadnavis said, “There is absolutely no ambiguity about the government’s efforts and the party’s support to Maratha reservation. While the party is adopting the resolution, the government is also providing adequate documents to ensure that the reservation stands the legal test in court.” The government has documented 1,200 pages to justify reservation for Marathas in court.
At the BJP meeting, he said the Maratha rallies were a reflection of the anguish and anger of the neglected Marathas against the powerful established leadership within the community. “What moral right does the Congress-NCP have to question the government on the Maratha reservation when they failed to address the basic concerns of the community for last six decades?” he asked.
According to BJP’s political managers, the resolution would help the party send a message to the community, which has taken to the streets under the banner of the Kranti Maratha Morcha. Besides, the BJP wants to exploit the divide between the rich and poor among Marathas, which was reflected in the rallies across the state, they said.
State BJP president Raosaheb Danve said, “Although the Maratha rallies were silent, its message was clearly conveyed to the 1.25 crore people of Maharashtra.”