The ruling BJP Wednesday turned the tables against the Congress-NCP demanding to know why they failed to keep their promise of according reservation to the Maratha community when their government was in power in the last 15 years.
While moving a motion on Maratha reservation, BJP MLA Ashish Shelar demanded the government should take measures to give reservation to the Maratha community in jobs and education.
However, to counter the Congress-NCP which is trying to corner the government, Shelar said that Congress-NCP had failed to take the issue to the “logical end” because their commission report on Maratha reservation was riddled with flaws which could not withstand legal and constitutional tests.
Referring to the commitment of the BJP-led government, Shelar said, “During the Congress regime, the Justice Bapat commission had submitted a report on Maratha reservation. Although the commission had then ruled out reservation for the Marathas, it is significant that it should have been tabled in the state legislative assembly and council and debated.”
The BJP leader also demanded to know why the Congress government, which ruled Maharashtra for more than five decades, could not take the Maratha reservation issue ahead. Taking a dig at another report submitted by the Rane committee, he said, “The Congress-NCP needs to explain why it produced a report which could not withstand legal testimony. Why they hurriedly compiled a report in eleven days without conducting a thorough survey.” Questioning the Opposition, he said, “It appears the Congress-NCP was never serious about Maratha reservation.”
The Maratha reservation has been a political subject since the mid-1970s. Successive Congress governments in the past had made promises regarding reservation.
Three commissions, including Backward Commission and Mandal Commission, had ruled that Marathas, which are the dominating community in Maharashtra, cannot claim reservation in education and jobs. The Maratha community constitutes 33 per cent of the population in the state.
In the past, the Centre rejected the Maratha reservation issue citing there was nothing to show the community was economically or socially backward. To avail any reservation, it is mandatory that a community be backward socially and economically. The government has submitted a 2,500-page report to the Bombay High Court arguing for reservation for Marathas in jobs and education.