Reacting to the NCP allegation that the Centre had rejected the state government proposal to grant reservations to the Dhangar community in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis admitted that his government had not sent a proposal in this regard to the Centre.
Fadnavis said that the government was committed to the welfare of the Dhangar community but was not taking any hasty decision lest it might not stand in court. Law department sources told The Indian Express, “It is likely that the response the NCP claims the centre has given could be on letters submitted to the government led by former prime minister Manmohan Singh by Congress-NCP government in 2011 and 2013.”
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The BJP-led government under Fadnavis took charge of the state in October 2014, six months after the party stormed to power at the Centre.
Fadnavis said, “My government is committed to the welfare of the Dhangar community. We are studying all aspects and demands related to their reservation. So far, I have not sent any proposal to the Modi government.”
The state is already facing legal wrangles over the quota for Marathas, which will come up in court on July 1. Reservation for the Dhangar community was a pre-poll promise of the BJP. The then ruling Congress and NCP had made a similar promise.
Cutting across parties, tribal leaders in the Congress, NCP, BJP and Shiv Sena, were opposed to Dhangar reservation fearing it would alter their quota to their disadvantage. Dhangar leaders are seeking inclusion under the ST category.