May 6, 2021 2:24:20 am
Written by Yogesh Naik
Public Works Department Minister Ashok Chavan, who chaired the state sub-committee for Marathas reservation, on Wednesday said that Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, should intercede with the Centre to help the state in getting reservation for community while refraining from politicising the issue.
Chavan also criticised the BJP leader for passing the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act in 2018, through which reservation was granted to the community without “due rights”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Chavan said that the channel is still open to grant reservation to the Marathas – which constitutes more than 30 per cent of the state’s population – and the matter would now have to be recommended by the Union Commission for Backward Class.
“With the 102nd amendment of the Constitution, the state has lost its right to give reservations. Other states like Tamil Nadu had recommended over 50 per cent reservation before the 102nd amendment was passed… If the central commission recommends, the President would ratify it… and instead of playing politics, Fadnavis must help the government get reservation for Marathas,” Chavan told mediapersons.
In 2018, then Fadnavis-led BJP government has enacted the SEBC Act to grant reservation to the community in jobs and admissions.
“The 102nd amendment of the Constitution had taken away state’s decisions (powers) of awarding reservation to the Maratha community and thus the erstwhile Fadnavis government had framed the SEBC Act, which has been quashed by the Supreme Court,” Chavan had.
He added that as Fadnavis decided to provide reservation to the community following the amendment, Maharashtra has been singled out in the SC. “Passing a law when you had no such right amounts to misleading the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and Council by Fadnavis as then CM. This amounts to cheating the people by giving them false information,” Chavan alleged.
He claimed that he had raised the issue of the state having no right in the matter but had to face opposition for his remarks. “I had mentioned in the Assembly that state has no right and everyone protested. The attorney general then had to clarify that state had no right after the constitutional amendment.”
Reacting to BJP’s criticism that the state failed to appoint good lawyers to argue the state’s side in the SC, Chavan said: “The state has gone with the same set of lawyers, who had represented the government during Fadnavis’s tenure… better advocates like Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Kapil Sibal and Dushyant Dave have also represented the state. We did our best.”
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