The Congress and the NCP’s aggressiveness to push for Maratha reservation has upset Muslim leaders both inside and outside the House as their demand for reservation for the community finds no mention.
The Maratha reservation is leading to a three-way polarisation with consolidation of Dalits, OBCs and Muslims. In terms of vote share, the Marathas constitute highest 33 per cent, Dalits 10.8 per cent, OBCs 27 per cent and Muslims 12 to 14 per cent.
The generation next Muslims are looking for an alternative forum beyond the Congress and the NCP to push their socio-economic backwardness plank.
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A Congress leader associated with the minorities said, “The Congress-NCP Maratha leaders who took to the streets to demand Maratha reservation have not staged a similar protest to deliver justice to the Muslims, whose support they have taken for granted.”
Identical sentiments were expressed by an NCP leader who did not wish to be named. He said, “At the end of 35 Maratha rallies, questions are asked in the Muslim community as to why the secular parties led by the Maratha Congress and NCP leaders have forgotten the Muslim reservation.”
Sensing the unrest within the Congress and NCP minorities leaders, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has decided to raise the Muslim reservation issue on the floor of the Legislative Assembly here on Wednesday.
AIMIM MLA Imtiaz Jaleel told The Indian Express, “The Congress and NCP Maratha leaders are in the forefront seeking reservation for their community. But Congress and NCP which always enjoyed the loyalty of Muslims for the last six decades are not speaking a word about Muslim reservation. It is very unfortunate.”
Highlighting the problems of the community, Jaleel said, “The NCP president Sharad Pawar met prime minister Narendra Modi in Delhi couple of months ago to demand reservation for Maratha community. I would like to know why Pawar sahab never showed the same concern for the Muslim reservation.”
The AIMIM leader said the Congress and NCP top leadership representing the Maratha community had displayed their prejudice. “It exposes their vested interest as Muslims are treated only as vote bank,” he said.
Maratha reservation has taken the centrestage in the winter session at Nagpur. The ruling BJP is leaving no chance to display its commitment to the Maratha reservation. But the BJP too is silent on the Muslim reservation.
The BJP has already submitted the 1,200-page document in the High Court to argue the social and economic backwardness of the Marathas to facilitate the reservation in education and jobs. The BJP is planning to bring the motion on Maratha reservation for debate in the assembly on Wednesday.
At its internal meetings, the political stand adopted by the BJP has remained consistent on Muslim reservation.